Mïrka’s Borscht*

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If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll know that I was feeling a little “Polish” on the weekend. I had cravings for some very specific foods, and was overwhelmed with the desire to make it myself.

It’s not my fault, really.

Last spring my coworkers introduced me to the best Polish perogies I have ever eaten in my life.

No really. The best ever.  I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about them.

And then, on our last trip up north, Spart took me to this amazing little Polish deli. It was home to all kinds of deliciousness, but she bought a container of borscht and forced me to try it.

I haven’t ever really been keen on beets, so I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of “beet soup”, but she promised perogies as well so I played along.

It was love at first bite.

The ingredient list and color were initially a little frightening, but the flavours blend together marvelously. Thus, my love affair with Polish food was officially born.

In the past two years I’ve discovered a real love of cooking, and I especially love taking on new challenges. I’ve had wild cravings all through this pregnancy, and I have not stopped thinking about perogies and borscht since I had it last.

So, last weekend I decided it was time to put on my apron and get’er done.

A friend of mine was kind enough to share her borscht recipe with me, and after I made it and shared a photo of the final product on Facebook, I had a number of requests for the recipe. It is absolutely delicious and so filling–you will want to take a huge helping but will find that you’re full after just a small bowl.

It’s magical.

So, without any further ado…

Mïrka’s Borscht*

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Ingredients: 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 medium beetroot, cubed
2 medium carrots, julienned
2 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegetable broth
1 sm (6oz?) can tomato paste
2 small potatoes, cubed

1 tsp sugar1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy based pot.  Add the onions, carrots, beets, cabbage, bay leaf and garlic.  Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes until vegetables have softened and cooked down.2. Add stock and tomato paste and bring to boil over high heat.  Turn heat down to low and simmer for half an hour.3. Add potatoes and cook for further hour (until potatoes and beets are tender).  Add tsp of sugar.  The borscht should be slightly sweet.4. Serve in large bowls with dollop of sour cream and finely chopped dill.

Now then. You don’t have to, but since I’m a little crazy with textures while I’m pregnant, I decided to purée the soup and I am SO glad that I did. It was perfection.

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Bon appétit!
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