Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Turn in the Weather

Who's responsible? I'd like to know how the weather could suddenly change from a month of positively Mediterranean to FREAKIN' COLD! I am on day 5 of a month off and am just a little peeved at the weather. I know.......grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.........

It's a good thing that I have all the fixings in my fridge for a great summer borscht! I was lucky enough to find golden beets as well as regular ones. I have so much dill in my garden that "volunteered" from last summer that I could open up a borscht factory. For those of you "not in the know" of gardening jargon, volunteer plants are the ones that pop up anywhere from seeds that you did not get rid of in previous years. It's a true sign of a laissez faire gardener, who doesn't dead head the blooms of the plants before they spread their seeds. They should be treated like the weeds they have become, but as they are yummy little plants, I leave them around and then pull them out as required. Manicured gardens do not have many volunteers!

There are as many borschts as there are cooks. This version is my version today, as this is what I had available to me in my fridge and garden. Enjoy!

Summer Borscht

1 small onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 - 2 litres chicken stock
about 1 dozen small or 4 medium beets
1 large potato
1/2 large or 1 small zucchini
Salt & Pepper
fresh dill springs
fresh thyme springs

additional or optional: green and yellow beans, cabbage, diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)

Pre-boil beets to loosen skins and then peel and roughly chop. Chop all vegetables to the size that you desire, however, a rustic soup such as borscht is nice with chunky vegetables.

Saute onion and carrots in vegetable oil. Add the stock, thyme, tomatoes, beets and potatoes, and bring to the boil. Cook until all are almost tender. Add the rest of the vegetables (the zucchini and beans if you are using them). Cook some more and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fresh dill. Serve with a splash of vinegar if you wish, and/or a blob of sour cream or creme fraiche.

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