Friday, 12 November 2010

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Polish-inspired Beet Soup - Barszcz/Polsk-inspirerede Rødbedersuppe/波兰甜菜根汤 [Bō lán tián cài gēn tāng]


Serves 8

Preparation & Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
- 6 beets shredded
- 2 carrots shredded
- 200g cabbage shredded
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 2 large potatoes shredded (optional)
- 2 cups or 250g frozen shrimps
- 2 TBS cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 onions chopped
- 1 stalk leek white portion (optional)
- 1.5 litre of water
- 1 lime squeezed
- A handful dill for garnishing
- 1 tsp fromage frais or low-fat yogurt for garnishing.

Directions:
1. Heat cooking oil on a pan and fry garlic, leeks and onions until golden and fragrance.

2. Add carrots, then cabbage, then potatoes and fry until cooked.

3. Transfer to a big pot with water and cook until the soup starts to boil, then turn down the heat to simmering.

4. Meanwhile, fry frozen shrimps in the pan with a little oil and then blend them in the blender and transfer to the big pot of water.

5. Heat pan again with oil and fry beet until half-cooked (about 2 minutes).

6. Transfer to the soup pot, add tomatoes and simmer.

7. Meanwhile, scoop up some of the vegetables from the soup pot and blend them in the blender.

8. Pour them back into the soup pot and stir.

9. Add lime juice and stir.

10. Serve in a soup bowl and garnish with fromage frais and dill

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Additional Information:
Beets are so healthy. Here is the Eastern European way to enjoy beets. I love soup and I tried this soup, when I was in Poland visiting their prisons, before J was born, and fell in love with it. I got to know a few Polish friends and once in a while we still keep in touch. It is one of their national dishes. Beet soup is also a local dish in Russia and Ukraine, and actually originated from Ukraine. It is called Borscht in Ukrainian.

I use the frozen shrimps instead of beef stock or cooking beef. It sweetens the soup easily without too much work. Add more or less shrimps to adjust to your taste accordingly.


This is a very healthy wholesome dish at the same time for toddlers, as it contains beets, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes to give toddlers the vitamins and potatoes to give toddlers the energy it needs.

It is better to shred the beet to achieve a very consistent red colour in the soup,
but if you want to save time, you do not have to do so.

My Japanese friend came over for a visit this evening, and her toddler had 2 bowls :-)

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borscht




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