Archive | February, 2014

Pink Soup

16 Feb

Pink Soup (Illustration) FIXED

Shortly before I got married, I asked my husband’s grandmother, Grandma Aptaker, to teach me to make this soup. This is a recipe for beet borscht and it is not only delicious but it is the most amazing color:  hot pink, fuchsia, acra-violet.  A few months later, I served this soup to my cousin David, who came to visit our little apartment in married student housing (at CU, Boulder). He took one look and said “Oh, pink soup,” and that’s what I have called it ever since.

Grandma Aptaker made this with a soup bone, but you can use stew meat  instead. And if you want a vegetarian or pareve version,  you will find alternatives below. Just scroll down a bit.

But first, here is Grandma Aptaker’s original recipe:

Step 1.* Boil soup bones in 3 quarts of water for one hour.  Remove from heat and discard soup bones. Let the broth cool and skim off the fat.

*(See below for options made with stew meat instead of bones, and for vegetarian version)

Step 2. Add 2 diced onions, 2 minced cloves of garlic,  and 1 1/2 c. chopped cabbage.  (If you like, you can use red onions and purple cabbage, just for the color.) Add salt to taste.  Cover and cook over medium heat for two hours.

Step 3. Add two 15 oz cans of diced beets (undrained).  If you want to use fresh beets, this would be about 4 cups of fresh beets, peeled and diced.

Step 4. Then season with 1/4 c. lemon juice (fresh if possible), 1/4 c. ketchup or tomato paste, and 3 T. brown sugar. (If you want to use Splenda or Stevia, that works too.)

Step 5. Cook an additional 30 minutes; taste and correct the seasoning. Depending on the amount of water and beets, you may need to add more seasoning. Just try to maintain the same proportion of  ketchup, lemon juice, and sugar to keep the balance of sweet and sour the same.

And that’s it. Serve hot, and enjoy.

Alternative Step 1 for stew meat version:  In Step 1: Instead of beef bones, use 1/2 pound of stew meat, diced into small pieces (1/2 inch); brown in a little olive oil, add  the water, and boil for 20 minutes.  Then proceed with the rest of the recipe, resuming at Step 2.

Alternative Step 1 for vegetarian (pareve) version:  In Step 1, use 1 cup of portabello mushrooms, diced into small pieces (1/2 inch); brown in a little olive oil; add the water, and boil for 20 minutes. If you like, you can add 1 T balsamic vinegar to the water for more flavor and color.  Then proceed with the rest of the recipe, resuming at Step 2)  You could also use this version as a cold soup, and add sour cream.

By Randa Dubnick; Illustration is “Pink Soup” by Randa Dubnick; all rights reserved.

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