October 31, 2010

Golden Borscht

Oh. Hi there. I didn't mean to leave you all alone for so long, but time seems to have gotten away from me. Sit down, have some soup.

I love borscht. To me, it is an extremely comforting combination of flavours, even though it wasn't really a staple of my childhood. I have had success with a number of styles and types of borscht, but I confess that my favourite is meatless (although I don't mind some chicken stock) and beautifully magenta with beets. In that vein, I have had excellent luck with the recipe from Diane Forley's The Anatomy of a Dish, which has been previously featured on this blog.

This version, as you can clearly tell, is a little different. Not, however by all that much. I've been toying with the idea of making a golden borscht since eyeing the beautiful golden beets that turn up from time to time in our local farmer's markets, and finally got around to making it. I followed the exact same recipe (including tweaks) as in the link above to the ruby-coloured borscht (although I omitted the potato entirely, as I don't care for its texture in the soup) and subbed out all of the red ingredients for their yellow/white counterparts. So, golden beets for red, white wine for red wine, white wine vinegar for red wine vinegar, and white (well, green technically) cabbage instead of red.

As you can see, it turned out beautifully golden, just as I had hoped. Interestingly, though, once the soup was complete, the beet chunks themselves had lost most of their colour to the surrounding liquid, making for a beautiful gold broth, but leaving the beet pieces a little anemic looking. Still, the flavour was dead on, that tart-sweet combination, and hearty, mouth-filling texture that makes it feel like a substantial meal all by itself (although, with bread is better).

This borscht is very, very strongly flavoured, and very, very tangy. If you like a milder (but still noticeable) tang, I suggest using half the amount of wine and vinegar, and making up the difference with either water or broth.

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