Bowl of Mushroom Borshch
(click to enlarge)

Mushroom Borshch
Russia
  -   Gribnoy Borshch
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
12 cups  
***
15 hours  
Yes

This is n excellent Borshch to serve when you are expecting Vegetarians. It can be made well ahead and is a good party soup. Vegans be aware, though - mushrooms are much more closely related to animals than to plants, we have a common ancestor.





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1
2
5
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1
1
8
4
9
2
1
4
1
1/4
2
1/2
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1/4
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oz
c
oz
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#
t
oz
oz
T
T
T
c

t
t
t
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c
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-- Stock  
Mushrooms, dried (1)  
Water
Onion
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-- Borshch
Beets
Vinegar
Mushrooms, fresh (2)
Celery
Onion
Dill
Olive Oil
Water
Bay Leaf
Cumin Seeds
Salt
Pepper
-- Garnish
Parsley (flat)
-- Serve with
Sour Cream

Do-Ahead   -   (13 hours - 20 min work)
  1. Soak DRIED MUSHROOMS in warm water for 4 hours or more - see Note-3.
  2. Bring Mushrooms to a boil in their soaking liquid. Take off the heat and let them soak overnight in the liquid.
  3. Drain Mushrooms, retaining the Liquid. Adjust the Liquid back to 2 cups.
  4. Chop Mushrooms fine and return to the Liquid. I use a Mini-Prep processor.
  5. Chop ONION fine and add to the Liquid.
  6. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer slowly 1/2 hour. Set aside until needed.
  7. Cook BEETS and rub off the skins (see Note-4).
Prep   -   (37 min)
  1. Slice Beets a little less than 1/4 inch thick and cut into square strips about 1-1/2 inches long. Tumble them with 1 t Vinegar.
  2. Slice MUSHROOMS into about 1/8 thick strips, or however you like.
  3. Quarter ONIONS lengthwise and slice thin crosswise. Chop CELERY small. Mix.
  4. Chop DILL small.
  5. Chop PARSLEY medium for Garnish
Run   -   (45 minutes)
  1. In a 3 quart or larger sauce pan, heat Olive Oil and fry Onion mix until Onions threaten to color.
  2. Stir in Stock and Water. Bring to a boil and stir in Beets, then Mushrooms, Bay Leaf and Dill.
  3. Season with Salt and Pepper. Simmer until vegetables are just tender.
  4. Serve hot, garnished with chopped Parsley and with Sour Cream on the side.
NOTES:
  1. Mushrooms, dried:   In Russia, "Dried Mushrooms" presumes Porcinis (Bolitus), and they are preferred for this recipe - but, see Note-3.
  2. Mushrooms, fresh:   A good choice would be fresh Shiitakes, but, after cutting them, soak in hot water for 20 minutes, then wring them out. This greatly improves their texture. Another good choice would be the small King Trumpet Oyster Mushrooms now easily available here in Southern California. For details see our Fungus page.
  3. Soaking Mushrooms:   Russian recipes presume Bolitus (Porcini) which are unusually reluctant to soften in soaking. If you must use some other mushroom, such as dried Shiitakes, you can cut the soaking times back significantly. The pattern recipe calls for pouring the liquid into a vacuum bottle to keep it warm overnight. I don't have one of those so I leave the pan on a warm spot on my stove.
  4. Cooking Beets:   I just boil them in water to cover (about 20 min). Some insist on oiling, wrapping in foil and roasting in the oven (425°F/218°C - about 50 minutes). Either way, they are done as soon as a sharp skewer passes through the largest without hitting a hard spot in the center. Cool under cold running water just enough to handle them and rub off the skins. Cool.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove, in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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