Easier Borscht with Precooked Beets and BeansDecember 18th, 2010 in Hot Soups, Soups by Julia Volhina
There is more than one recipe for borscht on this website, if you are looking for some other recipe, try here: all borscht recipes.
One of the challenges when cooking classic beet root soup, borscht, is to get all vegetables (and there are quite few) cooked till perfect readiness at the same time.
Considering different vegetables require different cooking time it is sometimes hard to achieve. For borscht you need to make sure beens are soft, while potatoes are not over cooked and beets don’t lose their color.
So, to make this happen: I cook beens in a separate cooking pot (just until they are soft and ready), cook beets skin on (like for salad) in separate pot in advance, and add these two to the main cooking pot at appropriate times.
By the way, using of canned beets and beens instead of cooking them yourself is an option (which I never did, but it may safe you some time).
- 1-1.5 lb of beef meat for soup (bone-in)
- 2 medium beet roots
- ½ of parsley root
- Slice of celery root
- 1 potato
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- ½ cup of dry beans of any kind
- 1-2 tomatoes (to taste) or 1-2 tsp of tomato paste
- About ½ of small cabbage
- 1 red bell pepper
- Sunflower oil
- Salt, ground paprika and black pepper to taste
How to prepare, step by step:
- Prepare ingredients:
- Just like in other borscht recipe, start by soaking dry beans in cold water at room temperature for several hours before cooking (pour water generously, beens will soak it up):
- Fill other cooking pot with cold water, put rinsed beets in and boil them simmering until ready (just like for salad); then remove water and let beets cool down (you can make this step in advance).
- Fill big cooking pot with about 6 quarts of cold water, add rinsed beef, put pot on the burner over moderate-low heat and start cooking beef broth (it will take you about 1.5 – 2 hours depending on beef):
- While broth is being cooked, put cooking pot with beans to the burner, bring to boil, reduce heat and let them simmer just until beans are fully cooked (are soft), then turn heat off:
- Blanch tomatoes (put them to the boiling water for about 20 secs, then put them under cold water to cool down and remove skin), remove stem parts and cut tomatoes into smaller pieces, move them to the blender cup:
- Chop tomatoes to get tomato paste (you can actually use tomato paste instead of tomatoes, in this case skip last 2 steps):
- Warm up skillet with a table spoon of oil; peel and chop onion, move chopped onion to the skillet and fry it lightly until soft and brown in color; stir occasionally:
- Peel and slice carrot into stripes, add carrot slices to the skillet with onions, fry onions and carrot together over medium heat for 10 mins:
- Add tomato puree; season with salt, add ground paprika and ground black pepper to taste (optional) and let vegetables to cook together for 10 mins more, then turn heat off:
- Once beef broth is ready, get meat from cooking pot and slice it in portion pieces (carefully, it is hot), adjust heat so broth is simmering lightly:
- Add pre-cooked beans (pour water they were boiling in to the cooking pot as well):
- Remove skin from celery and parsley roots, slice them into stripes and add to the cooking pot:
- Skin and dice potato as for soup; add them to the cooking pot; let it cook for 10-15 mins (potato should be half ready by that time, adjust timing if it is not):
- Then add skillet content to the cooking pot, let it cook for 5 mins:
- Meanwhile, clean bell pepper from seeds, slice it into not long stripes and add to the cooking pot:
- Add finely sliced stripes of cabbage (amount of cabbage can vary – use more if you like less liquid consistency or more if you want to make borsch more thick):
- While cabbage is cooking, skin boiled beets, slice them into stripes; adjust heat under cooking pot with borscht so it is only simmering (very light) and add beets to the pot:
- It is important to not over heat beets, or they loose color; so make sure borscht isn’t boiling, but rather lightly simmers while you cook it for last 10 mins, then season with salt to taste and turn heat off. Pour ready borscht to soup bowls and serve hot: A dash of sour cream is a good addition for the borscht. Another one is minced garlic. Also, borsch can be seasoned with chopped fresh dill or/and parsley before serving.
I made this for a couple of Ukrainian friends and they loved it! Worth every minute of making it. My husband hates beets and didn’t even want to try it, but he ate the whole bowl! Great recipe!
I don’t think I’ve ever had borsh with beans and peppers. Have I been eating an impostor most of my life? Also, when I was little I loved liking the bay leaf clean (lavrovi list), it tasted so good absorbed in the juices of the soup. It was such an essential part of borsh for me. 🙂
I guess there is a many recipes for borscht as many cooks are there.
1-2 tbsp of lemon juice added to the cooking pot at the end infuses this borscht taste.