Everyone has comfort foods. Some are better for us than others. Borscht was one of my favourites as a kid. My mom would make it in the BIG soup pot, it would simmer for hours on end. Once she took it off the stove, the pot was way too big to put in the fridge, so it would sit out on the kitchen balcony or in the garage waiting for it to come down in temperature so that Tupperware containers could be filled and frozen for easy-to-grab family winter weekend lunches.
The debate I have gotten into as an adult is, is this really borscht? When you Google “borscht” you often get a recipe that has beets in it, or beef…this has neither. Mom tells me she learned how to make this from “the Russian Immigrants in Greenwood” – almost like that is what their name tags said… When looking at all the various European versions on Wikipedia I think that this is kind of borscht, an adaption of many versions.
Alas, whatever you call it: Tomato/Cabbage soup, or winter borscht, or just ‘yum’, this soup is easy, tasty and full of good for you ingredients. If you like tomatoes and simple soup, you may like this. Serve it up with a dollop of low-fat sour cream and crust bread and it is delsih!
I know it isn’t much to look at – but really, what do you expect from cabbage? This soup is best served the next day once all the flavours intensify and settle together. I’ve also scaled it down and made it a little more manageable…enough to serve 6, or provide lunch throughout the week for TB and I.
2 tbsp margarine
2 medium yellow onions, diced
4 celery ribs, sliced
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 green cabbage, shredded
1 L canned tomatoes – used my last jar from the summer!
1 L beef or veggie stock
1 russet baker potato, grated
2 bay leaves
2 tsp salt
(salt and pepper to taste as needed)
- In a dutch oven, melt margarine and saute onions for 3-4 minutes on medium-high.
- Add shredded cabbage, carrots, and celery to pot. Allow to saute for about 8-10 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes, break up with a wooden spoon.
- Add stock – should cover veggies – allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add grated potatoes, salt and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 2 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally. Watch the heat, if you simmer too high you will burn your veggies.
- Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Allow to come to room temperature before putting in fridge.
- Reheat and serve the day after. As mentioned, you could add a dollop of sour cream when you serve it.