Serves 4 to 6
Borstch has long been a standby in Eastern Europe. It’s hearty, satisfying and healthy. This version is lightly sweet and sour.
3 or 4 large beets
About 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill weed – (or 1 teaspoon dry)
6 cups of defatted beef stock or - (3, 14.5-ounce cans of commercial) vegetarians and vegans use Court Bouillon
1/4 cup cider vinegar - (or to taste)
Sugar or sweetener to taste
Fresh, coarse ground black pepper to taste
Wash and trim the beets. Place in a roasting pan and put in a 350°F - (180°C or Gas mark 4) until fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove the skins, chop and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot and gently sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is pinkish and translucent but not yet beginning to brown. Add the dill weed, stock or broth and chopped beets. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Cook for about twenty minutes. Add the vinegar, and sugar or sweetener to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you like it really sweet and sour, add more vinegar and sugar or sweetener to suit your taste.
You may serve chunky or pureed. If you like it smooth, puree with an immersible blender. Serve hot with a bit of fresh dill weed sprinkled on top.
If calories, fat and cholesterol are no issue, then a discreet dollop of sour cream is a nice addition. Without the sour cream it’s still delicious and very satisfying.