Olia Hercules’ borsch

Olia Hercules’ borsch
  • Serves icon Serves 4-6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, plus overnight soaking (if using dried beans). Simmering time 45-60min (if using dried beans).

Ukranian food writer Olia Hercules finds solace and nourishment in a bowl of borsch. Make Olia’s recipe for this classic beetroot soup for friends and family and raise money for #CookForUkraine at the same time.

Visit CookforUkraine.org for more info and ways to take part.

Recipe adapted from Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules (Bloomsbury, £26).

Nutrition: Per serving (for 6)

Calories
301kcals
Fat
10.8g (5g saturated)
Protein
17.7g
Carbohydrates
26.2g (11g sugars)
Fibre
14.2g
Salt
0.8g
Calories
301kcals
Fat
10.8g (5g saturated)
Protein
17.7g
Carbohydrates
26.2g (11g sugars)
Fibre
14.2g
Salt
0.8g

Ingredients

  • 150g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight (see Make Ahead), or 200g (drained weight) tinned borlotti beans, rinsed
  • 1.5 litres fresh chicken stock, plus a little extra (optional)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
  • Good glug olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
  • 2 pink or red beetroot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes (or fresh, roughly chopped)
  • ½ small white cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Crème fraîche and chopped dill fronds to serve

Method

  1. If using dried beans, drain the soaked beans and cook in a saucepan of boiling water for 45-60 minutes or until soft.
  2. Pour the stock into a large saucepan, put on the hob over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes to the pot and boil for about 7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a good glug of olive oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat. When it sizzles, add the onion and cook, stirring, until it softens (about 10 minutes), then add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes more. You’re looking to slightly caramelise the onion and carrot, to draw out the sugars. Next, add the beetroot and red pepper and cook for 2 minutes before stirring in the tomatoes.
  4. Boil for a few minutes, then tip the contents of the frying pan into the saucepan with the stock and potatoes. Add the cabbage and drained beans. Simmer for 3-4 minutes – if the consistency is very thick after this time, add more stock or water to loosen. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning: it should be sour-sweet and well seasoned.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with crème fraîche and a few chopped fronds of dill.

delicious. tips

  1. If using dried beans, start the day before. Put in a large bowl, cover with lots of water and soak overnight. Once made, the soup will keep for several days in the fridge. Loosen with stock or water when reheating as the beans and potatoes will soak up the liquid.

Recipe By

Olia Hercules

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