Garden-Fresh Borscht

There is nothing more satisfying than making a meal that’s made up largely of food that you have raised in your garden. But getting time to do it in September can  be difficult when you are in the midst of canning nearly every day.

That was the dilemma that faced me today when I decided to make some borscht. I already had canned four more quarts of dills pickles (we now have 76 on the pantry shelf) and picked some other veggies from the garden before making the decision to do up some borscht.

I got my inspiration from a friend and former co-worker, Candace Decker, who now lives in Ohio. Candace commented on her Facebook page that she was “going to attempt to make a few unfamiliar recipes with some garden bounty I was given — beet perogies or maybe borscht soup, refrigerator pickles plus cucumber salsa, diced peppers for chili and pizzas this fall/winter.”

That was all I needed to get me on the way to making some borscht.

Here is the recipe I decided on for the delicious, deep purply red soup filled with beets and several other veggies.

8 cups beef broth (see note)
1 pound slice of meaty bone-in beef shank
1 large onion, peeled, quartered
4 large beets, peeled, chopped
4 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into ½ -inch cubes
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
¾ cup chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring 4 cups of the beef broth, the beef shank, and onion to boil in large pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Transfer meat to work surface; trim fat, sinew and bone and discard. Chop meat; cover and chill. Cool broth slightly. Chill in pot until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
Spoon fat from top of chilled broth and discard. Add remaining 4 cups broth, beets, carrots, and potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Stir in meat, cabbage and ½ cup dill; cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and remaining ¼ cup dill.
Note: Use gluten-free broth if you are cooking gluten-free.
Yield: Serves 6.