Hurrah It’s Borscht Day

Borscht is one of my favourite soups, I still remember the first time I had it. I was 15 years old and we were on our way to Swan River Manitoba for my brother Joe’s wedding. We stopped for lunch in Dauphin at a little road side restaurant. Seen borscht on the menu and ask my mother what it was. When she told me it was beet soup I had to try it. Beets I like just as a vegetable so as a soup I thought it would be good. I got a pleasant surprise, it was great. Every since I have ordered it every time I see it on a menu. They have all been very good in every restaurant I have had it. So it was one of the first soups I made. I think the only one in my family that liked it more than myself was my brother Joe. I think it was my mother who told me this story. It was my brother Joe eating so much borscht at one time that when he went to the bathroom his pee was kind of red. He thought there must be something seriously wrong, but it was just the borscht getting back at him for having so much. Every time I have or make borscht I think of that story and it makes me smile. Sad part now is that I never asked him if it was true. Quess I find it such a great memory of him that it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.

I get a little goofy with the beets when I make borscht, 1/3 I cut in cubes, 1/3 I slice, and 1/3 I grate. My reasoning for that is because over the years I have had borscht made with grated, others cubed or sliced. You don’t have to get as goofy about it as I do, just cut the beets anyway you like. It does look pretty good with the 3 different cuts but it sure isn’t necessary. One thing that is necessary is wearing gloves when you’re dealing with beets. I never wear gloves for anything in the kitchen, not even when handling scotch bonnet peppers. But with beets I do after my first and only time without them. It took a lot of scrubbing to get rid of the red hands. In the past I used my wife’s gloves she uses to wash dishes, which she didn’t like. This time because of covid 19 we have disposable plastic gloves, so no mad wife this time. Our ideal thing to have with borscht is pumpernickel bread, but any good bread or buns will work. Nice thing about borscht is you get to use every part of the beet.

The stock I made yesterday with the fat removed. You end up with about 1 litre.

1/2 litre of beef broth

1/2 litre of water

2 bay leaves

Stems from beet leaves chopped

Beets chopped, sliced or grated about 8 cups

1 carrot cut in half and chopped

1 onion diced

1 rib celery chopped

shredded meat from pork side rib

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Chopped beet leaves

Put everything except the beet leaves and vinegar in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Last half hour add the beet leaves. Just before serving add the vinegar, mix well and serve. I like to put a heaping teaspoon of sour cream on top and mix it in just before I eat it.

About Graham Stewart

This is me on a bad day.
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4 Responses to Hurrah It’s Borscht Day

  1. I never pictured you as a Borscht guy, but I guess that just goes to show your depth of appreciation. You make almost make me want to go out and buy some beets!

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