Веселого Різдва! For those of you that are wondering what that means, it’s Merry Christmas in Ukrainian. According to the Ukrainian Catholic calendar Christmas falls on January 7th and today Ukrainians all around the world are celebrating. So, in honour of this and my Ukrainian heritage I’m going to share the coveted borscht recipe from my Baba & Papa. This is a very old family recipe that as far I know has never been published before. I always thought that making a massive pot of borscht was such a daunting tasks growing up as I watched my Baba and Papa make it countless times. The flavours are so fresh and delicious I never realized how easy it actually is to make until I asked. This recipe can me made with or with our meat (mine is usually meat-less) You can also use sour cream or whipping cream. Borscht is also a very healthy soup because it is full of vegetables. To me borscht is soul food and I always request that my Papa makes it every year for my birthday. When I first asked my Baba for her borscht recipe she laughed at me and said there is no recipe you just make it. Confused I then called my Papa and asked what his recipe for borscht was. He gave me a little better idea of how to make it but I realized what my Baba meant by ‘there is so recipe’. Making borscht involves a lot of  you own personal taste. It’s up to you how much vinegar you use. What size your pot is.  How many vegetables or even what vegetables you want to add? Sour cream or whipping cream? With or without meat?  Noodles or no noodles? This is the recipe that I gathered and made from my families recipe but you can make  it  your own. So here it is, the best borscht recipe you will ever taste.

Chudyk Family Borscht Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cans of tomato soup

1  tetra pack of beef broth

3 large beets

1 large bunch of fresh dill

1 medium white onion

4 stick of celery

3 large carrots

2 large Yukon gold potatoes unpeeled

1 medium parsnip

1-2 cups vinegar

1 package of mixed vegetables (peas, corn, green beans)

1 small tub of sour cream or whipping cream

1 package egg noodles

Water

Directions: In one large soup pot (the biggest one you can get your hands on)

Pour 1 cup water and pack of  beef broth.

Peel and shred beets and add to pot.

Add finely chopped onion, celery. Add small cubed potato and parsnip. Add bite sized carrots slices.

Pour in water as you add vegetables to pot as needed keeping in mind not to dilute broth too much. Just enough to boil vegetables in.

Add 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables.

Let vegetables cook as needed.

In a separate smaller bowl take one or two ladles of soup until bowl and mix in two spoonfuls of sour cream at a time and then slowly add the mixture back in large pot. Repeat steps until all sour cream has been whisked into soup.

Add half a cup of white vinegar to soup mixture and stir, let simmer.

Taste soup and add more water, vinegar salt and pepper to taste.                                                

In a separate bot boil water and add package of egg noodles.

Keep egg noodles in separate bowl. Then add a handful of noodles to bowl and dish borscht into bowl and enjoy!

This is the recipe that keeps on giving and everyday you store that borscht in your fridge that better it gets.  A fresh loaf of bread or biscuits are a nice accompaniment to this meal of a soup bowl. I made my cheddar rosemary scones which taste great freshly out of the oven dipped into the beet broth. You can find the recipe for the biscuits here. There’s a saying in Ukrainian culture that the louder you slurp your soup the more of a compliment it is to the chef. So slurp away and don’t forget not to wear a white shirt!

For those looking for more of a taste of Ukrainian food check out Prarie Cottage Perogies in Langley for a truly authentic Ukrainian/Manitoban experience. Also, check out the Ukrainian Society of Ivan Franko located in Richmond, BC where they sell homemade Ukrainan food such as perogies, cabbage rolls etc out of their hall from 10am-2pm every Saturday. This year you can also celebrate Malanka (Ukrainian New Years) with them at an all out gala on Saturday January 14th. Check out their website for more details. www.ivanfranko.com

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