|The Real Polish Thing|
Recipe Adapted from The Art of Polish Cooking
It’s strange that the things that we scorned in childhood can become objects of our quests as adults. Take my grandmother’s beet soup, for example. As a kid, I had a strong notion that I’d dislike it, though I don’t remember any of us grandkids ever trying it. Yet, when our CSA supplied beets week after week, I went on a mission to recreate it using sparse memories from years past.
|Young Innocent from the Old Country|
As part of exploring my Polish (family) cooking roots, I’ve tried to get ideas about Bopcha’s recipe by looking at classic borscht recipes. Most contain sour cream, cabbage, celery, carrots, beet greens, or other ingredients. Bopcha’s was simpler, in fact she called it just “beet soup.” Finally hubby Bruce found a similar recipe in The Art of Polish Cooking, published in 1968. This is the simplest of eight “barscht” recipes in the book. Bopcha might have used a little more vinegar, and I added ¼ tsp. to my first bowl with good results. As simple as this soup is, it's surprisingly delicious, sweet, and filling. Now why was it that I never tried Bopcha's beet soup when I was a kid?
|Beets Before Roasting|
serves about 4
3 medium-large beets (1 bunch)
3 cups beef broth
1 ½ tsp. white vinegar
½ tsp. sugar
3 large pinches black pepper
2 large pinches garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking pan with no-stick spray. Scrub beets and roast in oven ½ hour. If any of your beets are large, roast these another 15 or 20 minutes. Cool beets till they can be handled. Peel beets and grate coarsely, preferably using a food processor.
Heat the broth to a boil. Add shredded beets. Simmer for 5 minutes and test. If beets are too raw for your taste, simmer another 3 – 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, sugar, pepper, and garlic powder. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with salt, pepper, and extra vinegar if desired.