Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Russian-Style Beet and Cabbage Soup

"Boris... why you not come home for borscht?  I make traditional family recipe!"

A simple truth:  the only reason I ever even looked up a borscht recipe in the first place was because of the horrifically inaccurate Russian-accented phrase above.  It is actually the only thing I'll say when attempting an Eastern European accent.  It is for this reason that I eventually came to be obsessed with borscht, which is otherwise nothing to covet.  As a matter of fact, President Obama recently knocked its main ingredient, beets, pretty hard by expressly omitting them from the new White House garden he and Michelle intend to start.  WHATEVER.  I refuse to be so much of a slave to fashion that I'll come off my borscht/beet pedestal and pander to this sudden anti-beet craze... I'm sticking to my guns!

Anyhow, not long ago I cruised a few borscht recipes to get a feel for what sort of variety I could expect and most were pretty similar.  I believe I ended up going with this particular recipe because it didn't ask for too much that I didn't have on hand by means of spices and I was likely to have any of the vegetables, save the beets, on hand at any given time in the form of leftovers from a prior dish.  I was excited to see a recipe that called for both carrots and cabbage, two veggies I've been admittedly geeked on lately.  Click Here For Creamy Borscht Recipe  Another draw was that it was a crockpot recipe and in the wake of my new crockpot purchase any such recipe has proven irresistible.  =]
With my culinary guinea pig Danger Faint on hand, we spent a solid half-hour dicing vegetables in my trashed kitchen (I'm developing this strange habit of cooking in the immediate aftermath of huge parties, perhaps because it necessitates doing the dishes?) before we realized that we were eventually transferring everything from the crockpot to a blender anyhow.  So I advise anyone considering this recipe not to be too meticulous in that regard, get the veggies small enough to cook through in the slow-cooker but don't worry too much about aesthetics at this point.  We made our vegetable broth with a few veggie boullion cubes in a money-saving move, I don't think the taste is any different from the pre-made cartons of stock that you can buy anyway.  After the crockpot phase we put everything straight to the blender, forgetting the vinegar, salt and pepper... oops?  So we just added it into the one gallon pitcher that we chose to store it in (still sitting in my fridge, looking exactly like raspberry smoothie!  It's only a matter of time before Kathan slips and sips!), no harm, no foul.  We opted for the vegan sour creme over the soy yogurt simply because we were looking for an excuse to have vegan sour creme on hand for our next run at breakfast burritos!  

I had a great time making this simple recipe and the end result was satisfying.  I'm not certain I would rush to make this exact recipe again, but I wouldn't advise against it.  I'm not sure what alterations, if any I'd make... any ideas???

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