This spring, we are sharing stories and recipes throughout the region. This week's recipe for Borscht and Pampushki comes from one of our interns Albina Truax. If you have a recipe you'd like to share, please email Lia Hyman at email@example.com or Ana West at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born in Ukraine and lived there for about 17 years. My mum in Ukraine would often cook us borscht. Growing up, I did not like it because of the boiled vegetables. When I came to the United States, people would ask me if I liked borscht since I am a Ukrainian; I told them no. When I got married, I began to introduce my husband to my culture. His mother asked me if I like borscht, so I finally made it and found myself liking it! Borscht is a part of my culture.
12 cups water
1/2 of medium-big green or red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped or grated
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 of 6 oz can tomato paste, low sodium (if you would like very saturated color in your borscht, add more)
2 tsp salt
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, grated
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup dill or parsley, finely chopped
Sour cream and pampushki, for serving
1. In a medium pot, add water, bay leaves, and bring to a boil.
2. While the water boils, wash, peel, and cut vegetables.
3. Add cabbage to boiling water, cover, and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Prepare a large skillet on medium heat and swirl 1 tbsp of oil to coat. Add onion, carrots, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add beets, remaining 1 tbsp of oil and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
6. Transfer sautéed veggies to a pot along with potatoes, tomato paste, and salt. Cover bring to a boil and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
7. Turn off heat. Add vinegar, garlic, and pepper. Stir and let borscht sit for 10 minutes to allow flavors to marry each other.
8. Add dill, stir, and adjust any seasonings to taste.
Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream, pampushki, and garlic clove on the side (to taste).
Refrigerate borscht in a pot you cooked it in for up to 5 days. Reheat by simmering on low in a small pot only amount you are planning to consume. Freeze in an airtight glass container for up to 3 months. Then thaw on a counter overnight and reheat.
Add other things in the soup to your taste. For example, you can add celery or red bell peppers to add more flavor. Experiment!