My nephew Thompson is serving as a missionary in Samara, Russia. He's been there almost 9 months - the time goes so fast! His letters home are, as you might imagine, always fascinating and full of cultural and personal observations. When you become so immersed in a foreign place, it changes you, and it's fun to see that happening to him.
In this week's email, he sent his much-anticipated recipe for homemade borscht. I went to Russia once, right after my own mission to Toronto. I think it was the only time I'd had borscht, but I had it several times that week. So awesome. Can't wait to try this one...just need to add beets to my shopping list - definitely not a veg I usually buy!
Elder Hangen's Borscht (in his own words)
Cut up two chicken breasts into cubes and cook them with a little oil in the bottom of the borscht pot.
Add a few cups of cut cabbage and a few cubed potatoes and a cut up onion. And add a couple (2?) liters of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer, but don't forget to add:
a few bay leaves, 2 boillon cubes (i'll never spell that right), and some dill and other greenish herbs.
Then grate into a frying pan two medium sized beets, and two large carrots. Add enough oil so that they look a little wet (1/3 to 1/2 cup? I don't measure, just pour) and fry them up on the stove.
Slice a tomato into wedges and add them to the frying pan, along with a large spoonful of tomato paste, and a squirt of barbeque sauce. Stir this all together, and when the potatoes in the pot are soft, add the "borscht mash" in the frying pan to the soup. You'll notice the brilliant red color immediately stain everything. Yum.
Let boil for a while, like 35 minutes, and then let it sit and cool for an hour. Serve in a large bowl with a dollop of sour cream!
Traditionally you'd eat it with black bread. But personally I choose my borscht bread based on it's ability to absorb liquid. Good absorptivity = good borscht bread.
I don't think I forgot any ingredients, but I probably did. A pot this size (3 - 4 liters of borscht) would last a long time, so you could probably half the recipe.