Ok, so really I don’t know whether this is borscht or not, but it’s soup with red cabbage and beetroot in which tastes, not to mentions looks, absolutely flamin incredible in a hunch-over-the-saucepan-just-
having-one-more-spoonful kind of way.
And remember, the next day IT’S PROBABLY JUST THE BEETROOT, rather than bladder/bowel cancer, k? Don’t panic if it comes out the same colour as it went in.
Red cabbage (look, I don’t know how much – how many are you cooking for? As long as you have about the same of each I don’t think it matters too much. I err on the side of more beetroot than cabbage, for preference)
One red onion per half a cabbage
One garlic clove per half a cabbage
Enough stock to cover the veg in the saucepan plus a bit more (I use beef stock but veg stock is fine – put in a bit of Marmite for more oomph – once I used peasant stock which was bloomin lovely, red veg and gamey-stuff is a winner)
Small spoon of dark brown sugar or spoon of treacle
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Creme fraiche and chives to serve
Chop up the veg and pop the garlic and onion in the pan with some butter and splosh of oil to stop it burning and soften them up. Add the chopped cabbage and beetroot, stir to coat in oily goodness and fry for five minutes. Add stock and vinegar and simmer gently until the veg is soft. At this point I food processor the hell out of it, smothering everything in the kitchen and creating my own horrific massacre scene, before giving it a stir, adding a bit more water if it’s like cement and adding the sugar and checking for seasoning (you may like to add a little more vinegar, or spoonful of marmite). Cook for another five minutes or so, spoon carefully into bowls with a dollop of creme fraiche and chives for posh resaurant effect. Alternatively, create massacre in bowl scene by trying to spoon too quickly or pour directly from the saucepan into bowl and hand bowl to friends/family with disconcerting deep purple gobbets dripping all down the sides and off the bottom. Enjoy – especially good with rye bread.