Grandma's Ukrainian Borscht
this is one of my all time favorite and most used recipes from this 
group. i have a passion for good borscht, just threw away my other 
recipes after i made this one. lengthy, but very easy. 
posted by nicole 12/21/01 
here's my grandma pawliw's recipe for ukrainian borscht. 
1/2 lb.  beets (1 big one or 2 small) or 5 or 6 cans of sliced beets
  with no flavouring)
1 can  northern beans or butter beans (i think northern beans are
  better, but sometimes they are difficult to find without seasoning)
  carrot - at least 1 medium, maybe more if you like them. cut into
  bite sized pieces (larger or smaller depending on the size of your
  onion - one medium, cut up.
1 stick  of celery, more if you like - again, cut into bite size
1 cup  of shredded cabbage, more if you like
  ground pepper
  white vinegar
  lemon juice (i always use real lemon and it works just fine, in my
  bay leaf
  garlic powder if you wish
  beef bouillon crystals (or, if you want to splurge, 1/2 a can of
  swansons beef bouillon)
how to make it: 
place about 2 quarts of water in a big, big pot (it will fill up,trust 
me). open up your can of beans and drain in a colander, washing off 
the liquid from the can. place the beans in the pot. place carrot, 
onion, celery, cabbage, and bay leaf in the pot. put the burner on 
medium high and get to boil, but not a very vigorous boil. while 
you're waiting for the water to get hot, work on the beets. 
now there are 2 ways to do this. if you use fresh beets, you will not 
have to use as many, but it will be very messy. so - if you're using 
fresh beets, cut off the stems but keep the leaves, clean the leaves, 
cut them up and put them in the pot. then shred the beets on a grater 
and add to the pot. 
if you're using canned beets, buy the sliced variety. open up the 
can, and cut up the sliced beets to your preferred size - also, make 
sure to look out for black spots on the beets (you don't want to use 
those!) add the liquid from the can and the sliced beets. you'll 
notice that the canned beets are not as 'strong' as the fresh and your 
borscht will be a little weak - that's why i always keep an extra can 
and add it in *last*. otherwise - anemic borscht! 
after you've added all the vegetables and most of the beets (remember, 
you're keeping a reserve can if you're using canned beets), stir it up 
and sit down for a little while, letting the soup simmer. (simmer, 
not boil vigorously - for about 20 or so minutes). then return and 
give it a look. does it need more beets? if the color is dark and 
rich, proceed. if it looks a little light, add more beets. (i 
usually use about 5 cans but always buy 6 or 7 when i'm making borscht 
- i don't mind buying more b/c beets never go to waste in my house). 
now for the fine tuning. add some salt. add some more salt. be 
generous; my grandma never cut short on salt. add a few shakes of 
ground pepper too. 
now comes the very fun part - adding the sour cream. you don't want to 
just dump sour cream into the soup, because it will curdle. so, take 
a mug and take a bit of the broth out. add some flour and sour cream 
to the cup and stir with a fork until smooth. then place the sour 
cream mixture into the pot. i find i usually do this about 3 times, 
each time filling the cup to about 1/4 way. add some beef bouillon 
crystals or, as i said earlier, 1/2 a can of beef broth. add a few 
shakes of garlic powder if you feel like it. 
we're almost done. now, add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a 
tablespoon of lemon juice. add about a tea-spoon of white sugar. 
stir and taste. what do you think? from this point it is just a 
matter of fine tuning. some people will think it's finished right now, 
while others will say it needs more vinegar / etc. i always seem to 
add a shake of salt, a tablespoon more of vinegar and of lemon juice, 
and of course a bit more sugar. rule of thumb - if you add something 
sour, you have to add something sweet as well. 
when it's to your taste - eat it! i always have mine with a big 
dollop of sour cream in the bowl. delicious! 
(ID: 10946) Mirror: Sun, Sep 7, 2003

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