With the Winter Olympics opening this weekend, our thoughts turn to the host country and its emblematic soup, borscht. This classic dish from Russia (and much of Eastern Europe, in fact) not only is a great way to eat a ton of vegetables, it also can be incredibly delicious.
Unfortunately, Americans tend to think of it as cold, stringy and bland. Borscht can be served cold, but that’s by no means the rule. And while it can get a stringy or mushy texture from overcooking, so can pasta, so it’s really just a matter of paying attention.
If you’ve had a bland borscht, you just haven’t had a good one. The key is to start with sauteed onion and spicy pork sausage. They add tons of flavor and a hit of protein that makes this a substantial soup that can stand in as full meal.
Dill and fennel seeds also amp the flavor. Round it out with fresh dill and sour cream, and you'll learn to love borscht as an easy weeknight meal.