The recent flurry of posts regarding Borscht led me to updating some of my
oldies. The beets in our market recently have been excellent.
2 bunches of beets (our bunches are four beets each) -- with bulbs on the
smallish side -- avoid large bulbs as they tend to be woody and not as
sweet. Select also for the best looking greens -- a few rotters in the
bunch can be plucked out.
Cut the bulbs from the stems, leaving each bulb with about 1". Wash bulbs
well, using a soft brush in the stem and root area especially. Put the
greens into a large bowl of cool water -- pulling out the really crummy
looking ones. As the beets cook, you have to wash and trim the greens like
spinach -- repeated soakings, rinsings.
Boil the beets in 2 quarts water, 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar -- about 45
minutes. Remove beets and cut off the stem end -- barely, and the root.
Slip the skin off (you might need to use a knife to help it along). Cut
the beets into French fry-like sticks and return to the pot. At this point
I add three Knorr's Vegetarian Vegetable broth cubes. (My grandmother threw
in ham/pork at this point)
Peel, quarter, and boil a russet potato for each person in a separate pot.
When done, drain and hold for serving.
When the beets are at a high simmer, stir in the beet greens. Cook until
they are done -- I go for bright color rather that totally wilted.
Place potatoes in the serving bowls, ladle soup with greens and beets over
them. FF sour cream for garnish. Comfort food!