I've never been a big fan of beets... so much of an "un-fan," in fact, that I'd never knowingly tried them. However, when given fresh produce from the garden, I want to use it... and Tim's aunt and uncle have a gorgeous garden. They've brought us tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, zucchini, lettuce, onions, probably some other things else I'm forgetting... and beets. That prompted me to head on line and look for a beet recipe, and borscht was one that popped up repeatedly.... and I decided to give it a try.
- 1 (16 ounce) package pork sausage (we used the spicy stuff)
- 3 medium beets, peeled and shredded (we diced... next time will use even smaller chunks)
- 3 carrots, peeled and shredded (we sliced)
- 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed (I followed the directions for this ingredient... just added extra potatoes because we all love 'taters
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (olive, of course)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (I added some garlic, too)
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (I didn't have any tomato paste, so I boiled my tomatoes that were going mushy... probably about a pound... removed the skins and pushed the pulp through a strainer. I like that better than tomato paste, anyway.)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 medium head cabbage, cored and shredded (chopped... not shredded... too much work - it was a large head of cabbage!)
- 1 (8 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained (I diced fresh 'maters... Jonathan helped me, can't you tell?)
- salt and pepper to taste (this might have been the only ingredient I didn't mess with... because I always and only do salt and pepper to taste, if I use them at all. I tend to use other spices and then add salt and pepper at the table.)
- 1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste (I used honey)
- 1/2 cup sour cream, for topping (we had yogurt on hand for anyone who wanted to use it)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish (no fresh parsley... used the dry stuff and cooked it right in)
Crumble the sausage into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until no longer pink. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Fill a large pot halfway with water(about 2 quarts), and bring to a boil. Add the sausage, and cover the pot. Return to a boil. Add the beets, and cook until they have lost their color. Add the carrots and potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cabbage, and the can of diced tomatoes.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and water until well blended. Transfer to the pot. Add the raw garlic to the soup, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with sour cream and fresh parsley.
Family consensus? "Yummy... just use smaller chunks of the beets next time!" Even Jonathan and Victoria ate without too many complaints. =D
Let us know if you decide to try it!