Vegetarian borscht with red lentils

Oh, I can write a lot about borscht.It is better to say: it’ll be hard to write about the most famous Ukrainian soup briefly 🙂 May be it is borscht that comes first to my mind when I think about Ukrainian cuisine. It’s like kapustnica for Slovaks and it has both gastronomical and cultural values. There are sayings like “you can’t cook borsht with him” which means “this person is not good to have a deal with” or “you can cook a good borscht, so you can get married”. Borscht recipes show a wide range, the one I’m going to share is my favorite, I’ve tested it last year and it was success from the first try.
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

Ingredients:
(makes 5-6 portions)
1,5l of vegetable stock
1 middle sized beet
1 middle sized carrot
2 middle sized potatoes
300g cabbage
half a cup of red lentils
1 middle sized white or red onion
2 cloves of garlic
140g tomato paste (and a few fresh ripe tomatoes if you have them)
Sugar, salt, black pepper,

Directions
1. Mince onion and garlic and fry on olive oil until soft and in a big enough saucepan.
2. Cut carrot and beet into fine little sticks, add to a saucepan, fry together for a few minutes on a medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, add some water, cover a saucepan and cook until beet becomes almost soft.
3. Add tomato pasta (and chopped tomatoes if possible), 2 tsp of sugar, season with salt and pepper, stir properly and turn the heat off.
4. Cut potatoes into small cubes and add to a pot with a boiling stock. Cook for 10 minutes, then add cabbage cut into stripes and cook for another 10 minutes.
5. When cabbage is almost soft, add stewed vegetables and cook together until cabbage is soft. Add red lentils and cook for the next 10-15 minutes.
Borscht, like the Slovak kapustnica, tastes better on the second day. Serve it with a spoon of sour cream and fresh herbs (dill is my favourite).

P.S. It’s actually funny that “for the rest of the World” borscht is a soup with, let’s say “East European identity”. But it’s still funny to see that at Bratislava Christmas market borscht was offered like “traditional Caucasian soup”. Well… 🙂

caucasian borscht in bratislava

🇸🇰 Vegetariánsky boršč s červenou šošovicou
Zeleninový vývar 1,5l
Cvikla 1ks
Mrkva 1ks
Zemiaky 2ks
Biela kapusta 300g
Červená šošovica pol hrnčaka
Cibuľa 1ks
Cesnak 2 strúčiky
Paradajkový pretlak (a ak máte, pár čerstvých paradajok) 140g
Cukor, soľ, čierne korenie,

Postup
Cibuľku nakrájame na malé kocky a orestujeme spolu s nasekaným cesnakom na dostatočne veľkej panvici. Mrkvu a cviklu nakrájame na tenké pásiky, pridáme na panvicu, par minút pražíme a potom podlejeme trochou vody a dusíme domäkka pod pokrievkou. Ked´ je cvikla skoro mäkká, pridáme paradajkový pretlak (a pripadne na kocky nakrájané paradajky). Všetko premiešame, okoreníme, pridáme 2 čajové lyžice
cukru a odstavíme z ohňa. Zemiaky nakrájame na kocky a vložíme do hrnca s vriacim vývarom. Osolíme, varíme 10 minút a pridáme nakrájanú bielu kapustu. Varíme ešte 10 minút, potom pridáme dusenú zeleninu a varíme spolu, pokiaľ kapusta nie je mäkká. Pridáme šošovicu a varíme ešte 10-15 minút. Boršč, rovnako ako slovenská kapustnica, chutí najlepšie na druhý deň. Servírujeme s lyžicou kyslej smotany a najemno
nasekaným kôprom.

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