Borsjtj or Russian beet soup

Just as we had closed our summer house and were ready to head back home to the city again, I took a last look around the garden and realized that we had forgotten to harvest the last of our beets. Six big, lovely beets remained, and we just couldn’t let them go to vast, could we?.

The beets landed in a bowl on the kitchen counter and have stared me in the face for several days now, so today it was time to let them come to use. And what could suit us better on a cold, grey and gloomy Saturday than a hearty classic Russian beet soup, a borsjtj. So borsjtj there is!

Borsjtj
Serves 4

Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb sausages
  • 6 beets
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 250 gr cabbage
  • 3-4 potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 + 2 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
  •  2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1.5 liters of water
  • 3 bouillon cubes (vegetable and meat)
  • 1-2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 200 ml crème fraîche or Turkish yogurt
  • grated horseradish

Methods

  • Peel and chop onion and garlic coarsely and fry in oil until softened but not burned..
  • Place into a large saucepan and pour over the broth and boil gently.
  • Shred the rest of the vegetables and sauté a few minutes in the remaining oil along with mustard seeds, thyme, star anise and bay leaves.

Frying

  • Transfer to the saucepan and let simmer for about half an hour.

Cooking 1

  • Cut the lamb sausages into chunks, add to the soup and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Season to taste with vinegar, salt and pepper.

Cooking 2

Serve the soup with sourdough bread, pickles and sour cream or yogurt flavored with grated horseradish.

Soup 2

Bon appetit!

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