In this week’s Washington’s Green Grocer box we got beets with tops and some Yukon gold potatoes. We still had some carrots from last week’s box, so what’s a girl with a Ukrainian husband to do? Make borscht of course! That kind of rhymes. Hehe. In any case, this is a very, very visually appealing dish and quite yummy.

Beautiful peeled beet from Washington's Green Grocer

Borscht is a traditional Ukrainian dish made from beets and other vegetables. Many other Eastern and Central European cultures have adopted this soup, but they take their own spin on it. They add different meats and use different types of stock (usually beef or chicken) while others leave it vegetarian. I started out with Husband’s great aunt’s recipe (she’s pretty awesome and escaped from Ukraine during WWII) and I put my own spin on it based on other recipes and my American-ness. Full-disclosure: I’ve never had borscht before I made “borscht” tonight. Sorry if I offend any borscht purists out there. My borscht has the sweetness of beets, the tanginess of the tomatoes, and creaminess with the Greek yogurt. It’s a really great way to get a lot of vegetables in one fell swoop.

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
3 medium beets, cut into chunks
1 1/2 onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 Yukon gold potatoes
Beet greens from the 3 beets, stems removed, cut into 1″ ribbons (original recipe calls for a 1/4 head of cabbage)
16 oz can of tomato sauce
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
salt and pepper to taste
(Not in the original recipe, but a tasty addition)
3 chicken breasts, seasoned with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper

Borscht cooking away

  1. In a heavy pot, bring chicken stock and water to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375. Season chicken breasts with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Add beets, onions, carrots, and celery to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes, beet greens, and tomato sauce. Return to a gentle boil and boil for 10 more minutes.
  5. Stir in the paprika, caraway seeds, salt and pepper. When the chicken is done, shred it and add it to the dish.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt (we used Greek yogurt).

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and you're ready to go!

Now, if you’re feeling EXTRA crazy, you can turn this into a baby-friendly dish by pureeing it. Baby Borscht is a great way to hide many vegetables. Ben HATES carrots and he ate this. When I make it again, I will leave out the caraway seeds as they have a very strong flavor. We served Ben’s with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Baby Borscht


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