February Recipes – Jane’s Borscht and Carrot Puree

Jane’s Borscht

Serves 6

500g. / 1lb. 2ozs. raw beetroot, peeled and grated (or finely chopped into small cubes)
500g. / 1lb. 2ozs. red cabbage, finely shredded
3 tbsps. tomato puree
2 tbsps. red wine vinegar
125g. / 4 1/2 ozs. butter
1.2 litres beef stock (use vegetable if preferred)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. brown sugar

To garnish

275mls. / 1/2pt. soured cream

Put the beetroot and red cabbage into a large saucepan.  Stir in the tomato puree, vinegar, half the butter and the stock.  Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour.

Melt the remaining butter and saute the onion and carrot until soft.  Add to the beetroot and red cabbage mixture, cover and simmer gently for a further 15 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add the brown sugar.  Serve garnished with sour cream.

Carrot Puree

This works well as a sauce for lamb meatballs, but is also delicious as a dip with pitta bread or spread over barbecued kebabs.

4 large carrots
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
juice of 1/2 lemon
a few sprigs of fresh mint
4 tbsps. natural yoghurt
freshly ground black pepper, sea salt
2 garlic cloves

Peel and chop the carrots.  Place in a pan with water and bring to the boil.  Simmer until they are very tender.  Drain away the water and return to a low heat.

Add the olive oil and the caraway seeds and sweat for a moment.  Cool before blending with half the lemon juice and then add the mint leaves.  Add more oil if needed.  Turn into a bowl.

Beat the yogurt with some salt and pepper, remaining lemon juice and the crushed garlic.  Make a well in the centre of the carrot puree and put the yogurt mixture into this. 


I tried this puree without the mint leaves with beetroot and it was lovely but took longer to soften the beetroot than the carrots.

Caraway seeds can be found at Handley Organics, they have a very distinctive flavour which I really like.

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