Borscht is beetroot soup – colourful, delicious and packed with goodness!
- For the soup:
- 1kg (2¼ lb) raw beetroot
- 45g (1½ oz) unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
- 1 small bulb of fennel, trimmed and chopped
- 3 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- For the cream:
- 1 tsp hot horseradish
- 200g pot crème fraîche
- Fennel or dill fronds, for garnish
Wearing rubber gloves (to stop your hands going pink), peel the beetroot, then grate it with the fine-grating blade of a food processor. Or grate by hand.
Heat the butter in a large pan, add the onion, celery and fennel and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until softened.
Add beetroot to the pan and cover with 1.3 ltr (2¼ pints) water. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the tomato and cook for 10 minutes.
4 Purée the soup in batches in a food processor or liquidiser, then push through a sieve if you prefer, then put it back into the pan. Add plenty of seasoning and lemon juice to taste.
5 To make the cream: Mix the horseradish into the crème fraîche. Serve the soup in bowls and spoon a dollop of horseradish cream in the middle of each. Garnish with fennel or dill fronds.
Cool the soup and pack it into a rigid container or freezer bag (putting the freezer bag in a jug, then, when it has frozen, remove the jug). Seal and label. Use within 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. Reheat gently.