tastily touring: visiting belarus with a borscht recipe

tastily touring: visiting belarus with a borscht recipe

Belarus, once under the government of the USSR, gained its independence in 1991. Currently bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. Belarus is among 15 countries that were once a part of the USSR and are now a Newly Independent States (NIS). However, Belarus has maintained a close relation with Russia unlike any of the other countries formerly a part of the USSR.

Belarus shares a long and rich history with the many other countries in Eastern Europe. Inhabited since prehistoric times the first record of permanent settlements dates back to the 6th century AD. Ruled by the princes of Kiev, Mongols, Lithuanians, Poles and Muscovites, Belarus finally came under Russian control under the rule of Catherine the Great in 1772. It wasn’t until the dissolution of the Soviet Union that Belarus finally became independent. Alexander Lukashenko has been the country’s president since 1994 and has established policies once practiced by the former USSR.

Along with its rich political history, Belarus, literally translated as “white Russian”, has a vibrant cultural history; sharing many traditions, customs and foods as its neighboring countries. The food enjoyed in this region dates back centuries. The potato could be called the national food of Belarus. So popular that it is often called “the second bread”. There are hundreds of dishes prepared using potatoes. Despite the popularity of the potato Belarusian people enjoy a wide and varied cuisine that makes use of ingredients such as mushrooms, berries, herbs, milk products such as sour cream and cheeses, fish, pork, which is made into sausage and rye which is enjoyed as bread or made into vodka.

Soups are quite popular. One of the favorites of not only Belarusian, but most surrounding countries is borscht. With so many people in Eastern Europe enjoying this soup that is how many different varieties you will find. Borscht is brilliant beet and cabbage soup made with meat and because the potato is so popular, of course, with potato.

tastily touring: visiting belarus with a borscht recipe

How to get this shot:

1. Softbox
2. White Ceramic Soup Bowls in Bulk from Wasserstrom a less expensive alternative from Williams Sonoma.
3. White linen napkin placed in front of the Bowl of rolls for visuals. Background (underneath a brown paper bag or brown lightly textured muslin cloth)

Borscht

Ingredients:

2 tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
8 cups water
¼ pound pork bone (can have meat on it)
3 oz beef brisket
3-4 beets, peeled and diced
1-2 russet potatoes, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
1 small cabbage, chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp vinegar
1 bay leaf
Pepper and salt to taste
Sour cream

Directions

1. In a large pot heat the vegetable oil. Sauté the onions until translucent.
2. Add the water, pork bone and beef brisket. Bring to a boil.
3. Add the beets, potatoes, carrots, turnip, cabbage, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, bay leaf and pepper and salt to taste.
4. Bring to a boil, cook until vegetables are tender. Lower heat and simmer for at least another 30 minutes.
5. Serve with sour cream


Camera Data:

ApertureFNumber: f/8.0
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ExposureTime: 1/160
FNumber: 8/1
ISOSpeedRatings: 100
Flash: 16
FocalLength: 100/1

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6 comments

  • February 9, 2012 at 10:31 am //

    Once again, you’ve hit on a dish that I hold close to my heart–borscht! Thanks for the recipe, and the beautiful photos.

    • February 9, 2012 at 11:19 am //

      Hi there Pennie, please enjoy the recipe, and thank you so much for coming by and commenting too!!!

  • February 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm //

    Thanks for this mini history lesson and also for this great soup! Borscht is one of my brother’s favorites…need to make this for him!

    • February 10, 2012 at 8:59 am //

      Thank you Joanne, we are so happy you enjoyed the post. What a lucky brother!!!

  • February 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm //

    Great post and luscious photo! (Were you in Belarus? Some of my husband’s family roots are there,) I’m most accustomed to Jewish-style borscht, but am starting to explore my own half-Slovenian heritage, and guess what? They make borscht too!

    • February 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm //

      Hi Blair, and thank you so much for commenting. We were never in Belarus, but this theme is part of our category “Tastily Touring”.

      Where we will explore foods from every country on earth. We have decided to tackle this task by going alphabetically through a list found on a fantastic website called One World-Nations Online. According to OWNO “there are now 195 independent sovereign states in the world plus about 60 dependent areas, and five disputed territories”

      We are committed to this project and want to include everyone. As our families pointed out, that will take about 260 weeks! We think it is a worthwhile venture in order to bring us closer together.

      We both come from a Jewish background (Italian and French), does the Jewish style Borscht differ much?

      Thank you again for commenting.