Borscht

Now that it’s getting a lot colder, I’m more in the mood for soup and basically anything warm.  A few days ago I got some raw organic beets, and had the idea of making borscht.  My mom had made it a few times growing up, and I wanted to try making it myself.  (This would be my second time successfully making soup… I’m still learning how to cook.)  So that day I looked up a recipe and decided to make it, making a few alterations.  I got this recipe off epicurious, but changed it a bit to make it my own.  So to be honest, I’m not even sure if the finished product is legit borscht.  All you Russians/Poles/Ukrainians out there can tell me if there is a specific way of making real borscht; I would love to know.  =)  Anyway, here is, if not real borscht, the recipe for some really good soup.  I could literally eat it every day… which is obviously what I did as long as I had leftovers!  The day after making it, I took some to school in a glass pyrex dish, heated it up in the microwave in the student lounge, and enjoyed it while I studied.  It’s better a day old, or two days old (which is a very cliché but true statement about pretty much every soup out there).  =)

Borscht

1 package of chicken breast, cut into smallish pieces  (beef would be good too, but chicken was what I had, and it turned out wonderful)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4-5 garlic cloves (I could definitely taste the garlic, which I liked.  However, use less garlic if you’re not keen on a strong garlic-y flavor.)

1-2 large potatoes, diced

2-3 carrots, sliced

1/6 head of cabbage, cut into bite-sized pieces

salt and pepper to taste

5 beets, peeled and diced

1/2 a lemon’s worth of lemon juice

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In a soup pot, cook the cut-up chicken breast in about 8 cups of water, until fully cooked.  (I let it simmer on medium-ish heat for about an hour after that to let the water get more broth-like (I didn’t have any chicken broth, so I made do using this method.  It turned out well, I think).  Remove chicken and put in a bowl to be added later.  Add beets, potatoes and carrots to the broth.  Simmer for an hour or so.  Add cabbage.  Simmer for another hour or two (you may want to stir it occasionally, to avoid any possibilities of stuff sticking to the bottom of the pot and getting burned.  We wouldn’t want that, would we?), then add salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Let simmer for a while longer until you think it’s about done.  Taste it.  See if it’s actually ready, or if it could use a while longer.  Enjoy.

This makes about 4-5 servings; my soup pot is rather small, hence the interesting ingredient portions, such as 1/6 of a head of cabbage.  =)

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