Friday, 10 May 2013

a simple recipe for beautiful beetroot borscht

it's a while since i posted a recipe - but this one is so delicious and has become so much a part of my regular eating, that it wouldn't be right not to share it with you. did i mention it's also cheap and very easy to make?

when my gorgeous niece Juliet started to speak, her 5th word was "borscht" - she adores it, she devours it quicker than any other food, and if she hears the word she starts chanting it until she gets some. it's my brother Martin's recipe that i want to share with you today, the one that Juliet fell in love with...

if you've never tried it - be encouraged by the amazing health benefits of beetroot, red cabbage, onions, celery, dill, carrots and beef stock. and if that doesn't convince you, then can you just trust me that this is super tasty?!

beetroot & red cabbage borscht
1 dsp butter/oil
2 onions
2 sticks of celery
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dried chopped dill
3 carrots
half a head of red cabbage
500ml good quality beef or chicken stock
250g (1 packet) cooked beetroot
1 tbsp cider vinegar
soured cream and fresh dill to serve

1. start by dicing your onion, celery and garlic. then add this to a medium hot pan with the butter/oil. after 5 minutes add in the dill.

2. grate the carrots and add this to the pan. then finely chop the red cabbage (removing the tough inner heart) and stir this in too. leave this to sweat a little for 5 minutes and then add in the stock. cook this for 15 minutes, adding a little extra water if necessary (it depends on how you like it at the end, i only add about 1/2cup of water because i like it thick).

3. meanwhile, grate the cooked beetroot.

4. once the red cabbage is tender, remove from the heat and blend up with a hand blender. add in the grated beetroot and cider vinegar and blend again.

5. serve hot topped with soured cream and fresh dill. and perhaps a side of toasted sourdough.

cook's notes:
 - it's really important to use good quality or homemade stock - after scouring every single supermarket shelf for a readymade stock that wasn't filled with salt, preservatives or added oils, i found the most amazing thing (reasonably priced too) in the by Sainsbury's range, which i now use all the time and always keep in my cupboard. the chicken, beef and vegetable stocks come in those plastic pouches (see image below) - and are about £1.20ish.
 - if you've got raw beetroot, that's perfect, but make sure to cook it in advance of the other steps.
 - i picked up a huge chef pack of Schwartz dried dill because i use it so much - and it's one of the best investments i've ever made. i got mine from a herb stall at my local market and it was only a fraction more expensive than the regular sized packs.
 - if you're looking for sourdough on the high street - you can pick them up in Sainsbury's - incredible! i've been buying, slicing and freezing this since the beginning of the year, and it's the best toast ever ♥
 - you can add in leeks or spring onions if you like to add more to the flavour, and it traditionally has potato in, so you could experiment with other additions like celeriac or swede.

so there you have it, Martin's borscht. simple, easy and very very delicious. i understand why Juliet is so madly in love with the stuff...

thank you so much for reading!

currenty watching: the hairy bikers - there are replays on bbc iplayer and i'm addicted.


  1. Pretty Alissa! I have been following your AWESOME blog for a while now and I wondered 2 things: 1. have you thought of trying to get the retailer Anthropolgie to stock your cook book, or maybe to do a not just apples one with all your great images? Cos they seem to be selling all the top food bloggers books on there... And 2. I just love all the different table linens and crockery you use and I hoped HOPED perhaps you would do us an and a video about how you developed your taste and how you source all the great plates as and butterdishes and tablecloths etc. That appear here? What do you say?! Allie, London

    1. Thanks for the compliments!

      I haven't approached Anthropologie, but may do with my next book.

      That sounds like a fantastic idea for a video... I'll definitely pop it on the list.

  2. Alissa I just wondered if you will do anymore tips on weddings cos I am getting wed (eeeee!) in a barn and yours was so pretty. I like the handmade tips and bridal style especially. Katie x x

    1. Hopefully will do - finally got the official photos (6 months on!)

  3. Alissa apples girl, I am just on my way to church and a church pal just showed me this blog. R u guys Christians? If so were you influenced by thge proverbs 31 woman? Or did this all just grow out of interests you already had? Can you pls tell us about how and why you got started n give tips for others about how to be a successful blogger and you tuber? God bless, J :)

    1. We are indeed! My mum has actually written a book on the Proverbs 31 woman, and this is definitely an influence in my life.

      My best and only tip on being successful is to be 'you' :)


Thanks for leaving a lovely comment - have a wonderful day ♥