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Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings

December 12th, 2009 in Hot Soups, Soups by
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Total cooking time: 3h

There is more than one recipe for borsch on this website, if you are looking for some other recipe, try here: all borscht recipes. You can also find more of homemade lenten food recipes.

Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings

In a lot of countries Christmas Eve dinner gathers whole family around one big table. Borscht with mushroom dumplings is the one of 12 dishes which usually are on that table by tradition in West Ukraine (by the way those dumplings are called “vushka” in ukrainian, which means “small ears”, I guess because of the shape).

Of course, because that is the Christmas Eve and Nativity Fast isn’t finished yet there is no meat used to prepare it: just vegetables and dried mushrooms. This borscht like the rest of the Christmas Eve’s traditional food is lenten, it is very tasty and isn’t heavy at all – most of the vegetables are used to prepare clear broth only and don’t get served with the borscht itself.

At first glance, it may look like cooking it is a bit of a hassle and time spending: so many steps (I’ve prepared 34 step-by-step pictures for this recipe!) and so many manipulations with different cooking utensils. However, you can complete preparation steps a day in advance – for example soak mushrooms, boil them or/and boil beets, you can even make dumplings a day before, freeze them and prepare the borscht next day. And then, nobody said you need to make everything yourself: involve your family into helping you! And have a Merry Christmas!

Ingredients:


How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients: choose ripe beets, dark red and sweet; dried porcini can be substituted with dried birch boletes, however I would not advice to use any other mushrooms — the taste won’t be the same. I should probably also mention what original recipe doesn’t include using kohlrabi, however I like it for this recipe:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 1
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 1
  2. Put dried porcini into a bowl with cold water (about 2-3 quarts) and let them soak for several hours. It is generally good idea to do that a night before if you are planning to cook lenten borscht on the morning:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 2
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 2
  3. Boil beets with skin-on till they are ready and set them aside:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 3
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 3
  4. Pour mushrooms and the liquid they were soaking in to the cooking pot, bring them to simmer over moderate heat and boil for about 1 hour till mushrooms are soft:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 4
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 4
  5. Drain the mushroom stock to the other cooking pot (you will need it later on) using colander and rinse mushrooms with cold water:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 5
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 5
  6. Mince boiled mushrooms in food processor or meat grinder, or if you don’t have any of those simply chop them finely with a knife (I’ve used meat grinder):
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 6
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 6
  7. Warm up a skillet with sunflower oil over moderate heat. Skin all onions, set one aside, and chop the rest (I haven’t done a good job with onions this time: it is better to chop them into smaller pieces than I did on the photos). Fry chopped onions until they are soft and yellow:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 7
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 7
  8. Add a half of all fried onions to minced mushrooms:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 8
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 8
  9. Season with ground black pepper and salt to taste (it is good to make the stuffing a bit spicy because the rest of the dish has smooth taste) and mix. Stuffing for dumplings is ready, set it aside for now:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 9
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 9
  10. Now lets prepare dough for dumplings: put about 2 cups of all purpose flour to a bowl, dissolve 1 tea spoon of salt in a cup of cold water and pour water over the flour:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 10
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 10
  11. Mix flour with water together until you get a dough you can actually knead by hands, add more flour if needed (find here some tips on how to prepare dough for dumplings):
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 11
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 11
  12. Cover dough with a plastic wrap and let it rest while you prepare vegetable broth for the borscht. For that fill a big cooking pot (about 5-6qts) with a water and bring it to boiling. Skin carrots, parsley and celery roots and slice them into pieces, cut the last onion into big pieces and add all those vegetables to the pot with boiling water:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 12
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 12
  13. Add 2-3 bay leaves and several peppercorns of allspice and let it all simmer together for about 10 mins:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 13
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 13
  14. Then skin kohlrabi, cut it into big pieces (I cut each of my small ones into 8 pieces) and add them to the cooking pot. Simmer vegetables together for about 1 hour, then turn the heat off:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 14
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 14
  15. While vegetable stock is being prepared let’s make dumplings. It is easier to deal with dough if you roll it on big wooden board. So take a big wooden board and powder it with flour, remove plastic wrap from the dough, powder dough with four and knead it several times to make sure it is soft and homogeneous:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 15
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 15
  16. Cut a quarter size piece of the dough and roll it very thin with a rolling pin (cover the rest of a dough with a plastic wrap to prevent it from drying):
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 16
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 16
    Cut rolled dough into diamond-shaped pieces with sides about 2” long with a knife:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 16
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 16
  17. Here is how you make a mushroom dumpling, take a dough piece:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 17
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 17
    Set about ½ of tea spoon of a mushroom stuffing in the middle of the one dough square:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 17
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 17
  18. Stick opposite corners of dough square together:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 18
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 18
  19. Then stick together sides to form a triangle:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 19
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 19
  20. Pull left and right corners of the triangle to each other and press them together:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 20
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 20
  21. Repeat for the rest of the dough and stuffing:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 21
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 21
  22. By Ukrainian tradition a few dumplings in lenten borscht for the Christmas Eve dinner have black peppercorns instead of the mushroom stuffing. It is considered a good sign to eat such dumpling: the person who eats such dumpling will be lucky next year. So, if you want to support this tradition go ahead and make 1 or 2 dumplings with even amount of black peppercorns (7, 9, 11, whatever works better for you), make sure those dumplings don’t look smaller than others, add a bit of mushroom stuffing if needed:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 22
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 22
  23. Lay ready dumplings on the plate or wooden board powdered with flour so they don’t stick to each other:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 23
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 23
  24. Now it is a time to “assemble” the borscht: remove skin from the boiled beets, slice them into stripes or grate on the big slots (I prefer to slice), put into another big cooking pot:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 24
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 24
  25. Put a big colander above the cooking pot with beets and pour vegetable broth into it (make sure it isn’t too hot or beets can lose its color):
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 25
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 25
  26. You will receive something like this:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 26
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 26
  27. Warm up the rest of the fried onions a bit and pour them to the cooking pot:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 27
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 27
  28. Now it is a time to add mushroom stock, you may want to filter the liquid you got from boiling mushrooms if you see any kind of sand in it (the way the dried mushrooms being prepared doesn’t allow them to be washed properly, it is why that can happen especially if the mushroom are home dried).

    Then start adding mushroom water cup by cup to the cooking pot with beets and vegetable broth. Taste borscht after each cup and stop at the point when taste of beets and vegetables are balanced enough with taste of mushrooms. Salt and season with ground black pepper to taste and warm it up (but make sure it doesn’t boil):
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 28
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 28
  29. Bring water in another cooking pot to boil and salt it. Put dumplings to the boiling water and stir:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 29
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 29
  30. Wait until dumplings come to the surface and make sure water isn’t boiling too much:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 30
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 30
  31. After about one minute of boiling get dumplings out of the water with a skimmer:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 31
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 31
  32. Put cooked dumplings to the bowl and smear them with a butter:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 32
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 32
  33. Set several dumplings into the soup bowl:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 33
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings Recipe: Step 33
  34. Pour several ladles of vegetable and mushroom borscht, then it is ready to be served:
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings
    Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings
Enjoy!

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8 Comments on "Lenten Borscht with Mushroom Dumplings"

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Robert
2 years 9 months ago

Just wsanted to shout out a thanks for this recipe. It has become a holiday tradition for our family!

Marilyn
4 years 10 months ago
This recipe sounds delicious and would make a beautiful first course for a Christmas Eve dinner. I can’t wait to try it. I was, however, a little confused by the title –something must have gotten lost in the translation. “Lenten” means “having to do with Lent”, the 40-day period before Easter that begins with Ash Wednesday. (Just as a footnote, the day before is Mardi Gras — “Fat Tuesday” in French — which traditionally ended the Carnival — “Goodbye to Meat” — season. Mardi Gras was last day day that people could enjoy rich foods such as meat and eggs… Read more »
Diane
6 years 5 months ago

Not sure if anyone can help. I am looking for a Broscht recipe. This one is the Polish version which includes fermented Rye. My Mom use to make it. It sometimes included putting the rye or sometimes rye bread in a crock and let it sit for a few days. Not sure what other ingredients it included. Hope you can help

Anna
6 years 9 months ago

Прекрасний пост! Я живу на Західній Украіні і такий традиційний борщ з вушками у нас дуже популярний.Я випадково знайшла Ваш блог, він мені надзвичайно сподобався,буду Вас читати,якщо Ви не проти:)

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