Lenten Borscht with Mushrooms and Green Beans

This borscht takes its roots from northern parts of Ukraine, where beech mushrooms are abundant. They give this borscht a distinctive flavor, which cannot be otherwise achieved by using regular white mushrooms.

First, wash one beetroot thoroughly and place it in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil and cook for 1 ½ hours. The the boiled beet out, peel it and cut into thin strips.

Take the second beet, peel it and cut into strips first. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of vinegar and fry on a skillet with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for 5 minutes.

Cut celery root into strips. Heat the skillet with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and cook celery root for 2 minutes. Then add shredded carrots, sugar and keep cooking for another 5 minutes on medium heat. Add chopped onion, green bell pepper, minced garlic, tomato puree and 2 tablespoons of water and stew the vegetables for 5 more minutes.

Cut potatoes into cubes and fry them on a separate skillet until they develop golden crust.

Pour water into a deep pot and bring to a boil. Add stewed beetroot and cook for 20 minutes, then add cut beech mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. After this, add fried potatoes and green beans and boil for 10 minutes. Then add stewed vegetables, finely shredded fresh green cabbage and salt to taste. Lastly, sprinkle ½ tablespoon of vinegar on boiled beetroot, mix it well and add to your borscht. Let it boil for 1 minute, cover with a lid and turn the heat off.

When serving the borscht, add chopped parsley or dill into bowls. You may also add sour cream.

You will need:

For borscht:       

  • Water – 6 cups
  • Beech mushrooms (fresh or frozen) – 5 oz
  • 2 medium beetroots
  • Fresh green cabbage – 6 oz
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ celery root
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Green beans (fresh or frozen) – 5 oz
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Tomato puree – 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil – 2 tablespoons
  • White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste

To serve:        

  • Chopped parsley – 4 teaspoons
  • Chopped dill – 4 teaspoons

Options:

  1. You can use either fresh or frozen beech mushrooms. If you are using fresh beech mushrooms, you need to wash them thoroughly and boil them in 4 cups of water. When they start boiling, skim off the foam that appears and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain the broth which you can use in this recipe instead of water. Take the mushrooms out, wash them under running water one more time, cut into strips and use according to the recipe.
  2. You can use fresh green beans instead of frozen. Use the same amount.
  3. You can use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato puree. Simple blanch and peel them and cut into small cubes. Use instead of tomato puree according to directions.
  4. You can also use peeled canned tomatoes instead of tomato puree. Use the same amount the recipe call for.

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