One Big Beet


It seems it’s the time of year to clear out the crisper of all the remaining veggies I’ve had in storage there since last fall.

The Last of its Kind

Yesterday, it was the last of the garden parsnips, carrots, and celeriac for the homemade bouillon–today’s recipe uses that last big beet that’s been sitting all alone in there since I roasted its mates in balsamic vinegar.

I bought the beets from Steve Horsely at the farmers market last fall because my fall crop of beets was decimated by rabbits at the baby stage.  I won’t make the mistake of leaving beet seedlings unprotected again!

When I went to the grocery store yesterday, I was thinking about that beet, and I picked up a small head of green cabbage to go along with it.  I think you can see where this is going…

Cabbage & Beet Juice--Not Melted Hostess Snowball

The recipe for the Russian Cabbage Borscht is the standard Moosewood Cookbook recipe, added to and subtracted from according to what I did and didn’t have on hand.  Potatoes were easy–I still have over half of the fifty pound sack of reds I got from Gary Bye at the farmers market harvest dinner last fall.

I used up the rest of the carrots in the bouillon yesterday, so none of those went in the pot.  Celery was also absent, and celeriac is also gone–I used a little celery seed to make up for it.  Onions–my own from the garden (though my supply is dwindling)–tomato sauce is a no-brainer, too (and that supply is holding strong).

The nice thing about the borscht recipe is that I can make it pretty quickly using the slicer-grater blade on my food processor–slicing for the potatoes and beet, shredding for the cabbage.  The onions I cut by hand; I don’t like how juicy (mashed) they get when cut in the processor.

I used a little of yesterday’s homemade bouillon in this, as well as a little turkey stock (the soup is easily made vegetarian or even vegan) and butter to sauté the onions and caraway seed.

Gelatinous Turkey Stock

I’m including the image of the turkey stock because it turned out just the way it’s supposed to–a stock made by simmering the bones should end up gelatinous when cooled–a signal that you’ve extracted good minerals from the carcass (using a little vinegar or wine in the simmering helps this process).

I’ve been at the stove a lot in the last couple days, but I haven’t actually eaten much of anything, so this afternoon when the borscht was done, I helped myself to a couple of steaming bowls dolloped with a creamy spoonful of whole milk yogurt.

I love the rich, earthy, tangy bowl-of-red this creates, with that Eastern European blend of flavors I don’t get often enough.  Can’t wait to have it again for supper!

Local ingredients: beet, potatoes, onions, turkey stock, vegetable bouillon, tomato sauce.

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