Food & Drink Magazine

Hungarian Borscht

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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From the age of five to ten I lived in Western Canada, in Manitoba on an armed forces base just outside the small town of Gimli which was on the sandy shores of Lake Winnipeg.   We were about two hours North of Winnipeg city itself and I have really lovely memories of the time that we lived there.  We lived in two separate houses while we were there.  The first house was a two bedroom attached bungalow.  It was a bit cramped as there were three of us children and my parents.  Our neighbors on the one side were the Dukemon (not sure about the spelling) family and Mr Dukemon often made this soup.  Borscht.  It used to smell really good when it was cooking.  I never got to taste it, but the smell of it was pretty tantalizing to my tiny tastebuds.  I was a foodie even then.
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I've also always been very spiritual and when I was a new young Bride at the age of about nineteen and a half I started going to a fellowship church.   They didn't have a proper chapel to meet in, so we used to meet in a classrom at a school.   The pastor and his family were lovely.  They invited us to dinner and they served Ukrainian food and you guessed it, the first course was Borscht!  I finally got to taste it!   After all those years.
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I fell in love.   Love at first bite.  It was gorgeous.    They also served these delicious meatballs called Kotlecky which I fell in love with . . .  but today we are talking about Borscht.
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It has a beautiful colour  . . .  it's just plain delicious . . .  slightly sweet . . . healthy and fortifyingly hearty.  I like to serve it with crusty whole wheat bread . . .  and a nice dollop of tangy sour cream . . .
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 whih makes the most beautiful patterns in the soup as it begins to melt into that rich and earthy ruby red tastiness.  If you have never tried it, you really must.  You won't be sorry that you did!
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*Borscht*Serves 4Printable Recipe  

I love Borscht.  It is a delicious heart warming and comfort in a bowl.  I like to serve it with some crusty wheat bread. 
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped1 stick celery, finely chopped3 mdium beetroot (beets), peeled and julienned1 large carrot, peeled and juilienned3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes1/4 medium white cabbage, thinly sliced1.4 liter vegetable stock (6 1/2 cups)1 tin of chopped tomatoes in juice (400g or 14 ounces)1 TBS sugar1 tsp paprika1 tsp ground coriander3 TBS lemon juice1 12 tsp sea salt2 bay leaves1 tsp butter2 TBS olive oilblack pepper to tastea bunch of fresh dill weed225g sour cream to serve (1 cup)
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Melt the butter along with the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until they begin to soften.  Add the beets, carrots, garlic and 1 tsp salt.   Cook, stirring occasionally, for about another five minutes.   Add the paprika, ground coriander, sugar and  lemon juice,   Stir well through, then add the stock, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes, along with the bay leaves and a good grinding of pepper.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover.  Cook over low heat for a further 30 to 35 minutes, until all of the vegetables are tender.  Chop the dill and stir it in, reserving a few bits to garnish.   Take off the heat, cover and set aside for about 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required with salt and more pepper if need be.   Serve ladled into heated bowls along with a dollop of sour cream on top of each serving and a sprinkle of dill weed.
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Of course the tomatoes I like to use for this are Cirio chopped tomatoes in tomato juice.   Why?  Coz they are the best and I love them.  I know.  I always say that, but  . . .  it's true and when I find ingredients that I really, I just hafta share.
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