Thursday, January 13, 2011

Garnet Soup

January is my birthday month.   I have a lovely garnet ring that my mother gave me when I was in my twenties.  My ex-husband gave me a garnet ring one Christmas.  Two years ago, Richard gave me some beautiful, contemporary dangle earrings from my favorite gallery, 360, that I like to wear for dress up.  I've never warmed up to my birthstone.
I had coveted February's cool amethyst.
I think that December's turquoise looks better with my skin tone.

I wear red better on the inside!  
I can't get enough of this red soup!

It's borscht, baby.  Or bortsch, borstch, borsh, barszcz, or borshch depending on which eastern European country of origin you choose.  My people came from a good deal west of Ukraine and it wasn't part of my food experience
until I encountered it at the old Lincoln Del, in the early 1970's. 

Here's my version:

Using a large kettle or Dutch oven, bring 2-3 T vegetable oil to medium heat
1 lb of beef neck bones

Brown the beef bones on medium heat, and turn and brown other sides
Add 4-5 cloves of chopped garlic in the final browning
Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
Pour in 1/3 cup red wine
2 T of red wine vinegar

Cover with 4 cups of water and simmer on low for 3-4 hours with the pan covered
(I hurried this part and recommend at least 3 hours to tenderize the meat and extract the most flavor)

Remove the bones from the broth, and extract any small pieces of meat 
from the bones and place back in the pot.  Discard the bones. 

3 medium yukon gold potatoes,  coarsely shred
4-5 cooked, skinned and chopped red beets
2 large carrots, shredded
1 medium onion, sliced and chopped
1 medium cabbage, sliced and chopped (I used a red cabbage I had on hand)
1 large can 15 - 20 oz. of diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste

Simmer all for at least one hour.
Taste for salt, perhaps add a teaspoon or two of brown sugar 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, cracked pepper
A sprinkle of fresh dill would be nice.

Refrigerate the soup and enjoy!
It will keep for one week and just gets better.

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