Dapper Kitchen: Impromptu Beet Soup
I found myself staring into a refrigerator filled with plastic bags of vegetable odds and ends collected from our CSA shares over the past few weeks. There was a bag full of beets, some leeks and onions and a couple of small heads of cabbage. As my stomach growled, I had a moment of inspiration. Borscht! I exclaimed. Sadly, only the cat was home to hear me. Since this dish doesn't involve a single ounce of tuna, the cat was totally unimpressed.
Impromptu Beet Soup (Borscht)
2 chopped small leeks (white part only)
1 chopped small onion
1 chopped green pepper
3 chopped carrots,
5 chopped small beets
1/2 small head of chopped or shredded cabbage
2 - 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt, pepper and herbs to taste
Sour cream or plain yogurt to taste
First, I sauteed the leeks, onion and pepper in about two tablespoons of butter. I don't always use butter for my soups. I usually use olive oil when I'm sauteing veggies for a soup. As I pulling together all of my ingredients for this soup, however, I discovered I only had about a cup of broth. Knowing I'd have to stretch that broth with a lot of water, I wanted the little extra fat from butter. I also added a generous shake of salt to the onion mixture while they cooked. After the onions started to turn clear, I added the carrots and beets. I mixed them in well with the onions and also stirred in the cabbage. I let the whole veggie mixture cook for about five minutes and then stirred in the broth and water. I also stirred in some fresh parsley and spicy oregano. Again, I'm not working with much broth here so I thought a little extra flavor would be appreciated.
I let the whole mix cook over medium heat for about thirty minutes. By that time the root vegetables had softened. I removed the pot from the heat and used my immersion blender to puree the mixture. I left the soup a little chunky because, well, that's just how I roll.
When serving the soup, I added a dollop of sour cream. I like my sour cream mixed in with my soup but sometimes The Mister likes to leave his floating in the middle. It was delicious served hot last night but I'm sure this borscht will be even better when I eat it chilled for lunch.
Jason Loper aka Captain Dapper