Green borscht

14 Jun

green borscht

From Russia with… green borscht. Actually, calling this soup green is generous. An unappealing khaki is closer to the mark.

But what green borscht (or shchaveloviy borscht to use its Russian name) lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste. Fresh and bright with lemony sorrel, herbs and gently cooked vegetables, it’s both light and satisfying.

Sorrel thrives in our garden and I have an abundance all summer long. If sorrel is unavailable, an equivalent amount of cooking spinach and a generous squeeze of lemon is a good substitute.

The finished product reminds me of the “meals” the girls would concoct for me when they were little – a scattering of grass clippings, a dandelion top, some rose petals, a handful of dirt and some hose water lovingly presented in the base from a plant pot.

“Here, mummy, I made you some soup. Try it!” “Mmmm, delicious!” I’d say, waving a spoonful in the vicinity of my mouth. “You like it? Have some more!” “I’ll eat the rest later, after I finish what I’m doing,” I’d lie, then tip it discreetly into the compost.

I was expecting a similar reaction from the girls when I served up green borscht for our World Cup cook-off this evening. But to my surprise, they sort of enjoyed it.

The recipe for green borscht is adapted from this one on Chesnok blog.

Green borscht
(serves 4-6)

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups of sorrel leaves, stemmed, washed and cut crosswise into strips
  • a small bunch of dill, chopped roughly
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped roughly
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • sour cream to serve
  1. In a large soup pot, cook the potatoes in six cups of water.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter and oil together in a frying pan over a medium-low flame.
  3. Sauté the onion and carrot until they are soft and tender, stirring often so the onion doesn’t brown.
  4. When the potatoes can be pierced with a sharp knife, lift them from the water with a slotted spoon and add to the frying pan.
  5. Break the potatoes into rough chunks with a wooden spoon, then tip all the vegetables into the potato water.
  6. Bring the soup to a simmer, then add the sorrel, herbs and garlic.
  7. As soon as the soup returns to a simmer, drizzle in the egg while stirring steadily. Turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper.
  8. Let the soup stand for a bit for the flavours to marry, then serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Family score: 7 out of 10


6 Responses to “Green borscht”

  1. Yana June 14, 2018 at 4:17 pm #

    Andrea, believe or not, but just earlier in a day I thought of this soup, as I discovered a forgotten jar with the preserved sorrel in my fridge (it’s quite common still to preserve everything back home, sorrel isn’t an exception. All you have to do it’s layer it with salt and a bit veg oil) And it’s a good substitution in an absence of fresh one.
    I think your post is definitely a sign for me to make this soup tonight! Thank you 🙂 xx

    • Andrea June 14, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

      I didn’t think of preserving it — will have to that. It’s running wild in the garden at the moment. I think it must be a sign to make this soup 😉 xx

      • Yana June 15, 2018 at 1:55 pm #

        Yes, and so I did make it last night. (I wish I could attach a photo.) The only thing, mine wasn’t a vegetarian option, I prefer to boil the chicken things or pork ribs for the base stock. I made it with the chicken this time.
        Thank you again, Andrea, I kinda like the fact that we had the same dish last night, feels like some sort of virtual dinner party 🙂 xx

      • Andrea June 15, 2018 at 5:41 pm #

        What a nice thought 🙂 xx

  2. cookwithreena June 14, 2018 at 7:28 pm #

    That looks delicious!!!

    • Andrea June 14, 2018 at 7:42 pm #

      Thank you, Reena!

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