Chunky Borscht

Brothy and brimming with beets, parsnips, turnip, celery root, and slices of kielbasa, this earthy beet soup gets a finishing touch of sour cream and fresh dill. Serve it in big bowls with plenty of crusty bread for an appetizing cold-weather dinner.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 small celery root (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups drained diced canned beets (one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 cups drained diced canned tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)
  • 3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium beef broth or homemade stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound kielbasa, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Preparation

  1. 1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the parsnips, celery root, turnip, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover and cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the beets, tomatoes, broth, water, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the kielbasa. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the 1/3 cup dill. Serve topped with the sour cream and the remaining 3 tablespoons dill.
  3. Variation: Instead of the kielbasa, you can use the same amount of Black Forest ham, or any good smoked ham, cut into small chunks. :
  4. Wine Recommendation: California sauvignon blanc has enough intensity of taste to stand up to the borscht, and the subtly herbal nature of its flavor will accentuate the dill nicely.
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