In every home, every woman will know how to cook this, Ruslana tells me as she gave me this recipe for borscht (a soup).
Ukrainian recipes are seasonal as different types of fresh produce are available at different times. Winter temperatures can be as low as -25 degrees and Ruslana contrasts this with Argentina where she spent five years. There it was summer all the time, everyone was very smiley, there was so much dancing – tango, salsa. It was possible to get cheap fruit and vegetables all year round.
She was once presented with a cabbage soup masquerading as ‘borscht’ in Ireland. As she remembers, she shakes her head and comments, I don’t know what it was but it was not borscht.
- Half a medium sized cabbage (sliced)
- 3 medium sized potatoes (quartered)
- 200ml passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 1 small beetroot (sliced)
- I carrot (grated)
- I medium sized onion (quartered)
- 300g meat
Fill a saucepan with 1½ litres of water, add the meat and cook for 35-45 minutes. Meanwhile, roast the carrot and onion in the oven with the passata. Add the quartered potatoes to the cooking meat. When they are cooked, add slices of beetroot and cabbage as well as the roasted carrot and onion mixture to the saucepan. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon and add salt.
Serve with cream.