• Michael Laxer

Five varieties of Soviet borsch -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

w. Moscow Borsch, Ukrainian Borsch, Borsch with Dried White Mushrooms and Prunes, Summer Borsch and Cold Beetroot Soup.

Stock photo


These five classic borsch recipes from around the USSR appeared in the English language Soviet magazine Sputnik in January 1970.


If you are a borsch fan, these all sound pretty tasty.


The "Moscow Borsch" with beef, bacon and sausages sounds delightful and I will likely make it as a separate post soon.


MOSCOW BORSCH


For 4 portions:


1 lb rib of beef

3 I/2 oz streaky bacon

2-5 sausages

2 oz butter

10 medium beetroots

1/5 head of white cabbage

1 large carrot

1/2 root each of parsley and celery

1 onion

21/2 Tbs tomato puree or 2-3 fresh tomatoes

1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

a few drops of lemon essence

salt, bay leaf, peppercorns to taste


Make beef stock, remove meat, then boil bacon in stock. Peel beets, then cut 5 or 6 of them into small strips, place in a saucepan with a little of the butter, add 1 1/2 breakfastcups* stock, lemon essence, 1 Tbs tomato puree or 1 peeled fresh tomato cut in sections (dip in boiling water to make peeling easier) and, stirring from time to time cook on a low gas (45 minutes for

old beetroots, 10-15 minutes for new ones).


With remaining beets make an infusion as follows: grate beets coarsely, pour on 1 breakfastcup hot stock, add lemon essence and bring to the boil once rapidly. Remove saucepan from gas, allow beetroot to stand for 20-25 minutes, then sieve.

Cut carrot, parsley root, celery and onion into strips, fry lightly in butter, then add to stewed beetroot and cook for 10-15 minutes until done.


Add chopped cabbage to sieved and boiling stock. When the stock comes to the boil again, add cooked beetroot, onion, parsley root and celery, and simmer for another 25-30 minutes on a low gas.


About half-way through add bay leaf, pepper, salt, sugar, tomato puree or fresh tomatoes, skinned and cut in sections.


Before serving put pieces of boiled meat into the borsch, and also bacon and slices of boiled sausages. Add beetroot infusion and bring the borsch rapidly to the boil once again.


In 15-20 minutes, when the borsch has absorbed the beetroot infusion, serve it with sour cream, parsley leaves, dill and vatrushkas (savoury buns with a cottage cheese filling).


*Editor's note: A "Breakfastcup" is a heaping or large "cup" that is about equal to half a British pint.


UKRAINIAN BORSCH


For 4 portions:


1 1/2 lbs rib of beef

10 beetroots

1/5 head of white cabbage

1 carrot

1 small parsley root

1 onion

4 potatoes

2 1/2 Tbs tomato puree or 2-3 fresh tomatoes

3-4 cloves of garlic

2 oz pork fat

1 sweet pepper

a few drops of lemon essence

bay leaf, peppercorns, salt and sugar to taste


Prepare beetroot, carrot, parsley root and onion as for Moscow borsch.


Make beef stock and remove meat from it. Put into the boiling stock coarsely chopped cabbage, potatoes and sweet pepper. When the stock comes to the boil again, add stewed beetroot, onion, carrot and parsley root. In 10-15 minutes add bay leaf, peppercorns, salt and sugar and simmer with the lid on over a low gas until potato and cabbage are cooked (20-30 minutes).


Five minutes before the borsch is done add garlic grated with two thirds of the pork fat, putting the rest of the pork in the borsch in small pieces, and also tomato purée or peeled fresh tomatoes cut in sections.


Before serving add the beetroot infusion and pieces of boiled meat and bring the borsch rapidly to the boil once again. Remove from gas and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes. Serve with sour cream, garlic, parsley leaves, dill and vatrushkas.


BORSCH WITH DRIED WHITE MUSHROOMS AND PRUNES


For 4 portions:

12 dried white mushrooms

20-25 prunes

5-6 beetroots

1/5 head of white cabbage

1 carrot

1/2 parsley root

2 large onions

2 1/2 Tbs tomato purée or 2-3 fresh tomatoes

3 Tbs vegetable oil

a few drops of lemon essence

salt, bay leaf, peppercorns and sugar to taste

1 clove


Wash mushrooms in warm water and place in saucepan. Add halved onion and salt, pour on cold water and cook on a low gas for 2-21/2 hours. To speed up matters the mushrooms can be soaked beforehand for 1-2 hours in cold water, which is then used to boil them in.


Stew beetroots as for Moscow borsch. Cut onion, parsley root and carrot in strips, lightly fry in oil, and then add them to the stewed beetroot 10-15 minutes before it has finished cooking.


Sieve mushroom stock and while it is boiling add chopped cabbage. When the stock comes to the boil again, add stewed beetroot, onion, carrot and parsley root and simmer with the lid on over a low gas for another 25-30 minutes.


Half-way through add prunes (previously washed in warm water), finely chopped boiled mush-rooms, salt, bay leaf, pepper-corns, sugar, clove, tomato purée or peeled fresh tomatoes.


Leave borsch to stand for 15 minutes and serve with sour cream, parsley leaves and dill.


SUMMER BORSCH .


For 4 portions:

6 young beetroots

4 potatoes

1 carrot

1 stalk of celery

1/2 lb vegetable marrow

2 tomatoes

3 oz spring onions

salt, pepper. bay leaf and clove to taste

mushroom stock


Remove stem and leaves from young beetroots. Cut the beets into strips and the stem in short pieces. Add finely chopped carrot, place in saucepan and cover with boiling hot or warm mushroom stock, then cook on a medium gas. Scald finely chopped beet leaves, peel marrow and cut into small pieces, and add these to the saucepan together with chopped tomato, potato, celery, spring onion, salt, pepper, bay leaf and clove, and simmer until done. Serve with sour cream, boiled milk or yoghourt.


COLD BEETROOT SOUP


For 4 portions:


12 small beetroots

4 tsp granulated sugar

4 eggs

8 Tbs sour cream

4 smallish ridge cucumbers

2 oz lettuce

2 oz spring onions

parsley or dill to taste

a few drops of lemon essence


Carefully wash beetroots but do not peel. Boil until tender in water to which lemon essence has been added. Then cool, peel beets, and sieve liquid. Cut beets into strips and return to liquid, add sugar, chopped hard-boiled white of egg, chopped lettuce, spring onions, and also finely chopped cucumber. Add sour cream, and before serving sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and dill.


Diced boiled potatoes and sliced and peeled apple may also be added.






0 comments

Recent Posts

See All