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Archive for April 24th, 2010

Borscht Noodle Soup

We picked up some gigantic organic beets the other week while  at the Co-op.   I wanted to put a new spin on a traditional dish and decided that the main beet element of this “borscht” would be a beet root pasta.  It turned out to be a really nice meal though there may be a Russian grandmother out there smacking a computer monitor with a wooden spoon while shouting:  “Nyet, nyet nyet!”

Borscht Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

one recipe Beet Root Pasta

1 leek, sliced thinly

1 T olive oil

2 carrots, sliced into oblong coins

4 cups red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

½ head napa cabbage cut into ¼ inch slices [or any other green you prefer, kale would be nice]

1 large beet, cut into medium dice

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped plus an extra frond for garnishing

2 quarts faux chicken broth

red wine vinegar

vegan sour cream or non-dairy yogurt, for garnish

Dill seeds, for garnish

Directions:

Place diced beets into 2 cups faux chicken broth and simmer until fork-tender.  Drain and transfer to a bowl.  Cover the beets with red wine vinegar and set aside.

Sauté the leek in a stock pot until softened.  Add carrots and potatoes and continue to sauté for a few minutes longer.  Add broth and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender.  Add cabbage and fresh dill. 

Toss the pasta into boiling water and cook until it floats.  This should take about 2-3 minutes.  Plate the soup in a bowl and add a generous serving of fresh pasta and a few spoonfuls of the vinegar-marinated beets.  Garnish with vegan sour cream, dill seeds and dill fronds.

 

Beet Root Pasta

Ingredients:

½ cup semolina flour

½ cup unbleached white flour

1 tsp walnut oil

¼ cup beet juice

Water

Directions:

[The volume of liquid required to make a smooth and silky pasta dough will vary according to the moisture level and measurement of your flour.  Bearing this in mind, you may or may not need to augment the beet juice with some additional water.]

Place flours and oil into a food processor.  Slowly drizzle the beet juice into the flour with the processor running.  Once the dough pulls off the sides and forms a ball against the center rotor the dough is ready.  Remove the dough and knead a few times.  Form it into a flattened disk and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.  You can make this the day ahead and refrigerate.

Once it has rested, run the dough through a pasta machine [I use a hand-cranked model that I picked up for $25.  It was well worth the investment] and lay it upon a clean surface to dry out a little bit.  Cut into linguine-style noodles.  Toss loosely with extra semolina flour so that as it dries further, it will not stick together. 

Cook in salted boiling water for a couple of minutes until it is cooked through.

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