We’re reaching the zenith of winter now, when days are pretty much drawn in, weather (at least in London) is overcast and drab, which gives us a perfect opportunity to stay in, get cosy and cook up warming meals that satisfy the soul.
It’s a time for the enjoyment of earthy, warming flavours that the likes of the Balkan states and Russian offers up in abundance. Spending more time inside, by necessity, in these months, cooking dishes like this one see me through every time.
So from humble, and seriously cheap beginnings starts the story of borsht. These are organic and local from our farmers market in Walthamstow. They are the Rolls-Royce of beetroot and cabbage; still cheaper than a coffee out. Seasonal organics are always really affordable, it’s a really easy way to save money and also guarantees your ingredients will be way fresher after not being down half way around the world.
Now, not that you need to see a picture of how to chop vegetables, but to let you know that’s more or less it in the preps-stakes. You just chop ’em up any way you want and throw them in the pot with a couple of other ingredients and thats it, you have a very nutritional meal quicker than the time it takes to order order a pizza..
Of course the end result look a lot more sophisticated and the sour flavours work miracles for the good-bacteria that keeps the gut healthy. Also, we recently learnt a trick we much prefer regarding not blending all our soups. Here texture and colour make this soup what it is, some recipes say to blend the soup before serving, but we prefer not too. This soup is originally from peasant origins, the food of the poor country-folk. Maybe we should look at other aspects of the way they lived. In this modern day London, we definitely need some advice from somewhere.
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 small potato (roughly ¾ cup) chopped into small pieces
- 2 small beetroots (roughly 1 cup) chopped into small pieces
- 1 stalk celery, chopped into fine dice
- 1 small carrot chopped into fine dice
- 1 tbs olive oil or butter
- 2 tbs cider vinegar
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp dried dill
- salt and pepper
- 1. cover potatoes and beetroots with water and simmer, partially covered fro 20-30 mins until tender.
- 2. In the meantime, heat the oil or butter on low heat and sauté the celery and carrot until soft.
- 3. Drain the beetroot and potatoes, reserving 2 cups of their cooking, water and add to the sautéed carrot and celery with the water.
- 4. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, then turn down, semi-cover and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Serve warm garnished with fresh dill and a vegan cashew-sour cream.
- keep it chunky! resist the temptation to blend-all. You won't regret it.