On Love and Borscht
Steve likes it better shredded up, but I prefer it chunkier. So if I’m prepping it, I dice everything. If Steve does it, he shreds it. But he does it by hand because he doesn’t know how to use my food processor. (Snicker.)
Either way you make it, it’s totally delicious. And look at that color!
And that brings me to how it gets it’s gorgeous fuchsia color. (Pretty festive if you ask me.) Yep, beets. I’m not a fan of beets (not even roasted — shocking, I know) except in this soup. It amazes me every time how a few beets can take a big pot of soup and thoroughly dye everything bright pink.
We were pretty brave feeding this to our kids in a rental home several years ago with beige carpet underneath our kitchen table. After throwing a (very dark colored) blanket on the floor, taking their shirts off, and putting bibs on both of them, we were good to go. “Pink” or “Anastasia” soup gets pretty good reviews from them.
So yes, the color may be reminiscent of Valentine’s Day, but its Russian origin is the real reason for its meaning in our family.
My husband and I met in Russia (long story…), and since we happened upon this recipe five years ago, we’ve made it every winter since. We’d like to go back to Russia together one day, but for now, we can sit across the table and slurp this brightly colored soup while we remember “Mother Russia” and our first few encounters together.
Happy Valentine’s Day :)
UPDATE 9.29.19: Eight years later and our kids (4 now) are still absolutely bonkers over this soup. If I make a double batch in my stock pot it’s gone in under a week. They eat multiple bowls at dinner. They request to take some in a thermos for school lunch.
Once my 12-year-old came home from school and WARMED SOME UP FOR AN AFTER SCHOOL SNACK.
That’s some serious borscht love.
Nat's Notes: 3. Steve likes to shred the carrots, potatoes, and beets to get a more unified texture. I like chunks. 4. To make this Whole30 compliant, omit the honey or replace it with Date Paste.
1. The only thing I changed about this recipe was adding stew meat and substituting beef stock for chicken stock. The original recipe did not contain meat.
2. It's better if you make it, stick it in the fridge, then reheat it the following day. Steve swears it's the best on day three. I have to agree. :)
3. Steve likes to shred the carrots, potatoes, and beets to get a more unified texture. I like chunks.
4. To make this Whole30 compliant, omit the honey or replace it with Date Paste.
I prepared this for a Russian native a couple of years ago and not only did he go back for seconds, he told me that it tastes just like his mother’s.