Sausage ensures borscht isn’t bland

  • By J.M. Hirch Associated Press
  • Thursday, January 30, 2014 8:46pm
  • Life

Borscht is woefully underappreciated in America. This classic dish from Russia (and much of Eastern Europe, in fact) not only is a great way to eat a ton of vegetables, it also can be incredibly delicious.

But it generally has a bad reputation. People think of it as a cold, stringy and mostly bland soup.

While it can be served cold, that’s by no means the rule. And as for the stringy and bland part, no way.

Borscht can get a stringy or mushy texture if it’s overcooked. But so can pasta, so it’s really just a matter of paying attention.

And if you’ve had a bland borscht, you just haven’t had a good one. The key is to start it off right — a nicely sauteed onion and spicy pork sausage.

They add tons of flavor and a great hit of protein that makes this a substantial soup that can stand in as full meal.

Dill and fennel seeds also amp the flavor. Round it out with fresh dill and sour cream, and you’ll learn to love borscht.

Sausage borscht

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 pound loose spicy pork sausage meat

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon dill seeds

1 quart beef stock

3 15-ounce cans beets, drained

Salt and ground black pepper

Chopped fresh dill, to serve

Sour cream, to serve

In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook until just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the fennel and dill seeds and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

While the stock heats, fit a food processor with the large grating attachment. Grate the beets. Add the beets and any liquid in the processor to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with sour cream and dill.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 320 calories; 180 calories from fat; 20 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 70 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 16 g protein; 1180 mg sodium.

More in Life

Take a closer look: Winter gardens share gifts in subtle way

Go on a neighborhood walk this month to enjoy the seasonal beauty offered by a variety of gardens.

Great Plant Pick: Pinus contorta var. contorta, shore pine

What: Who is not impressed by the beauty and toughness of this… Continue reading

Red wine usually costs more, but you can still find bargains

Here are five good-quality reds that won’t drain your grocery budget.

Beer of the Week: Skull Splitter and Blood of My Enemies

Aesir Meadery of Everett and Whiskey Ridge Brewing of Arlington collaborated to make two braggots.

Jesse Sykes brings her evolving sounds to Cafe Zippy in Everett

She and Phil Wandscher make a return trip to a club that she values for its intimacy.

Compost: It’s what every gardener really wants for Christmas

A pile of decomposed and recycled organic matter is the gardener’s gift that keeps on giving.

Need a centerpiece? Plant paper-whites for December beauty

The white flowering plant brings the garden indoors in winter, even if the bulbs were never outside.

Beer, wine, spirits: Snohomish County booze calendar

Ugly Sweater Party and Canned Food Drive at Whitewall: Marysville’s Whitewall Brewing… Continue reading

Student winners to perform concertos with Mukilteo orchestra

This annual show is a partnership with the Snohomish County Music Teachers Association.

Most Read