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There are few very classic Polish soups that I really like to eat and borscht/beetroot soup is one of my favorites. It’s essential and full of flavor and I sometimes like to drink it from a cup, but in most cases I serve it with little meat dumplings. Some people would say that this soup has some magical powers as a hangover cure, and here is where my husband would definitely concur, but the truth is that beetroots are very healthy and good for you.  Just drinking a glass of beetroot juice (mixed with your favorite fruit or carrot) gives you tons of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants.
With this recipe I prefer to roast them and then cook them for a short amount of time so that they don’t lose all the goodness in the process of boiling.
In the past for many years I would use a premade beetroot concentrate but since I don’t live in Poland anymore and getting that concentrate would mean traveling to a Polish store, which is not really anywhere close to me right now, I decided to make my own. I have done different fermented bases for soup or bread in the past so I figured it shouldn’t be that difficult. I checked a bunch of different Polish websites and blogs and many of them asked for a piece of rye bread, which again is not that easy to find in the States. (American Rye bread is different than Polish Rye.) So I came up with this recipe and called it an experiment. And guess what! It turned out pretty good. So now I always double the ingredients and keep half of the concentrate in a fridge for the next time.
There are also ways to tweak it and change it into a more hearty soup just by adding potatoes and cream and sprinkling with fresh dill.  Or, you can make a completely new soup called Ukrainian borsht by adding green beans, white large peas, cabbage, potatoes and cream, though this particular soup has dozens of other versions that vary from region to region and country to country.
Nevertheless, beetroot soup/borsht is definitely something that would be common in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries but not necessarily in other countries or continents.  However if you don’t want to prepare a soup there are always other ways to add a beetroot to your lunch and dinner. More »

soup6I have been watching this butternut squash in my vegetable basket for a while and I figured it’s time to finally make something out of it. I usually don’t like sweet soups and I think that’s what happens to every soup when you cook it with any squash so my goal was to make a savory soup. I must admit it’s still a little bit on the verge of sweetness but has a lovely kick of spices as well. It’s a very rich soup and I wanted to add some kind of crunchy taste to it so I made eggplant chips. I will be honest with you. Before I made a good batch of chips, I burnt a few… I followed recipes that were asking to put them on parchment paper and put olive oil on them. Eggplants absorb fat so quickly that I figured that the best way would be to spray a cooling rack with vegetable oil and place the eggplant slices on them. This way they got the temperature going through both sides and they were not sinking in oil. If you decide to make them you need to watch them after the first 10 minutes in the oven or they will be either on the gooey side or get too dark and ashy. You can also save yourself this effort and serve the soup with croutons or a slice of toasted bread or baguette. More »

soup5I love creamy soups and the great thing about them is that you can smuggle all kinds of vegetables you want your family to eat and they will not know they’re in the soup until you tell them :) .This soup is very nutritious and aromatic. Kale has a rather bland and earthy taste so cooking it down with shallots and garlic gives it more fragrance and a richer taste. I add the frozen peas at the very end so that they don’t lose the bright green color. You can add some roasted baguette or crusty, rustic bread to make sure you have something to scoop out every single drop of this soup from your bowl. More »

09. January 2014 · 2 comments · Categories: Soup · Tags: , ,

soup6
A warm bowl of soup was something that my mom would make every day for us when we were growing up, and would say that it is the healthiest part of our meal for the day.  I drifted away a little bit from making a soup every day but every now and then I make sure we eat some in my family. Especially now, during winter season when it’s so cold and gets dark so early,  a warm bowl of soup seems like an excellent idea to have when you return home from work.  You can do it the day before so that you can just warm it up the next day and enjoy that warm and flavorful bowl of goodness. Some people don’t even think about reaching for cauliflower in the market so I hope this recipe will help you change your mind. The roasting process builds up the cauliflower taste and the little bit of prosciutto (which you can substitute with pancetta or bacon) just brings it to another level.  It’s not only healthy but also low in calories and, what’s most important, very tasty. If you get a large head of cauliflower don’t double the liquids immediately but let it puree first and then add it gradually in order not to make it too watery. More »