Vegetable Borscht, All The Way

Did you ever see that wonderfully funny mock-u-mentary Best In Show?  One of the best lines is when the young woman is explaining what she has in common with her old man husband.  “We both like soup,” she says.  It’s funny because we all know that *that’s* not a reasonable basis for a happy marriage.  And yet…it kind of is.  Well, it is a simplistic way of saying that similar tastes help in successful relationships.  I think my grandparents were married to each other for over 65 years because they both liked soup.  Thankfully, so do Jim and I.  Here’s a recipe for the one we had this weekend.  The All The Way refers to it having noodles, matzah balls, rice, and beans.  Eat soup with your sweetheart and go all the way, it might indeed be the basis for a long life together.

Vegetable Borscht, All The Way

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 small or 1 large carrot
  • 2 small or one large onion
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1/4 small head purple cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked white beans (great northern or cannellini)
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cooked fine egg noodles
  • 1 batch herbed matzah balls (recipe below)

Peel or scrub carrots and cut into rings, half rings, or quarter rings depending on size.  Trim and cut celery into thin full or half slices so they match the carrots in size.  Peel and cut beet into small bites.  Chop and finely shred the cabbage.  Peel, cut and slice the onions.  All the vegetables should be the same general size.  Peel and slice the garlic.  Put all the vegetables, the rice, the cooked beans, and 12 cups of water into a large soup pot.  Cook at a low boil, covered, until the rice is cooked and the vegetables are soft.  Zest then juice the lemon and add both the zest and the juice to the soup.  Cook for at least 15 minutes.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Serve hot – ladle soup into bowls with noodles and matzah balls already in them. 

To make the matzah balls:  in a bowl beat 2 eggs with a fork.  Beat in 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup oil.  Then stir in 1/2 cup matzah meal, 1 Tbs dried dill, 1 Tbs cut chives, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 tsp baking soda.  Mix well then allow to sit for at least half an hour in the fridge.  When you are ready to cook them, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Meanwhile, form the mix into little balls – you should get 20 from this much.  Carefully drop the balls into the boiling water.  Reduce heat to a low boil, cover pot, and cook balls for 20 minutes.  Drain the balls and set aside until you are ready to serve them in soup.

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