Beet Borscht with Meaty Soup Bones

Hi folks,

I was finally recovered from the cold and flu going around the community this January, and I was cleaning out the fridge…

I threw all this stuff into a big stock pot:

  • One onion
  • One turnip
  • One rutabaga
  • One parsnip
  • One package ox tails*
  • Three small meaty beef shank bones*
  • The ends of two celery stalks
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t. black peppercorns
  • 1 t. coriander seeds
  • (NO salt until later later later)
  • 6 beets
  • ½ bunch of parsley
  • One lime, sliced in half – yes, I did that…
  • 2 32 ounce cartons of organic low sodium chicken stock – yes, I’m out of  homemade so I bought…
  • Water to cover the bones and veggies, plus an inch over.

I did ‘an Ina’…I washed it all but threw it all in without peeling anything (the Ina part) – yep…no peeling anything.  And not much chopping either.  In fact, I did not even slice the turnip or rutabaga.  Rutabagas are really hard when dry so why struggle?

I boiled it hard then turned to simmer.  Left it that way for 2 hours.  Drained it all.  Cooled the stock and lifted off the fat layer.  Peeled the beets, sliced into thin strips and returned to stock.  Peeled the rutabaga, chopped into small squares and returned to stock.  Returned the beef bones to the stock.  Gave the leftovers to my girls (the chickens).

Then I added in 2 freshly sliced green onions, they were big-ish.

  • Cleaned and sliced the beet greens and added them to the stock
  • Added some cleaned and sliced dinosaur kale I had on hand along with some baby bok choy (the white chunks in the picture)
  • Added one chopped red bell pepper
  • Added one 28 oz. jar of my home canned tomatoes.

Simmered for another hour.

Lastly I added one cleaned coarsely chopped bunch of cilantro and seasoned with salts and some red pepper flakes.  Squeezed in the juice of one more lime (my tree is ready – its going into everything these days) and  added 1 t. sour salt and 1 T. sugar.  Borscht should taste a little sweet and sour.  NOT like they do in deli’s or when buying commercially, which is way way too sweet.

Well folks…we warmed one of Nadia’s perfect baguettes while we ate and watched “HER” and “FRANCES HA”.  We sent Nadia and Dan home with a quart of soup and look at the gorgeous picture she sent back to me.  She is very handy with her lights and camera….Thanks again, Nadia.

*note to die hards…usually I take the bones, rub them generously with tomato paste and brown lightly without burning in the bottom of the pot prior to making this kind of soup.  Did not do it this time as I did not have any tomato paste on hand and the other seasonings filled in the complexity nicely, but if you want another layer of depth…do this every time you make a beef soup…and use chicken stock because I find purchased beef stock to be very low quality…