Whats your comfort food?
When I’m having a bad day or not feeling my best, comfort food is like a nice warm hug. It helps ease the harshness from the day, while filling my mind with warm memories. Some people turn to chocolate, some people turn to chips, for me, I prefer borscht. Borscht, also known as poor man soup, was created in Central Europe dating back to the Medieval times. It was named poor man soup because it was cheap to make and could feed an army! There are many different ways to make borscht. My Grammy was from Poland, so she made barszcz. It is a simple recipe that includes red beetroot, onions, garlic and other vegetables (i.e. carrots, potatoes and celery). Rather than being a soup, as many other European countries utilize it as, in Poland it is eaten as the main course during obiad (the main meal eaten in the early afternoon). Borscht can be served hot or cold. The difference between the two soups depends on a lot more then just temperature. Hot borscht is the most popular for of borscht and preferred in most countries. It is a hearty soup that is made with a pork or beef broth and is saturated with vegetables. Cold borscht is popular in countries such as Lithuania and Hungry. It has a lighter flavor, is use more as an appetizer and consists of a tomato or cucumber base.
The recipe I am going to share with you today is a recipe that reminds me of my late Grandmother. When I was younger, I remember walking into her house smelling the savory aroma of pork, beets and potatoes that had been simmering for hours on a hot stove. I remember eating bowl after bowl while listening to my Grammy putter around the kitchen (she could never sit still!). So when I’m having a ‘one of those days’, a hot bowl of borscht warms my heart and soul.
Polish Hot Borscht
1lb pork shoulder
3 cups of water
2 cans of beets
2 cups of chopped potatoes
2 cups of chopped carrots
2 cups of chopped celery
1/2 cup of onion
2 cups of chicken broth
splash of lemon juice
Optional: 500g of sour cream
- Place the pork shoulder in a large pot and cover with water. Cook on med low heat for 4 hours until meat just falls apart.
- Drain water into another large pot (save for later!) and cut meat into bite size pieces.
- Return pork to water you saved and add the chicken broth
- Chop carrots, onion, potato and celery and add to meat/broth mixture.
- Cook soup until carrots and potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and cool
- Add beats when soup is cool. **Warning: If you add beets when soup is hot, they will turn white!
- Add dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add sour cream if desired (I have milk intolerance so I’m leaving this out. If you add sour cream the look of the soup changes from a red transparent broth to a pink creamy soup
- Serve and enjoy
I hope that you will attempt this recipe. It tastes delicious, is extremely healthy and best of all it is GLUTEN FREE and DAIRY FREE (if you exclude the sour cream).