Saturday, October 17, 2009

Going a Little Crazy with Soups

For some reason, I got it in my head that I should make borscht as a way to use up some of the cabbage in my fridge. I've never had borscht. I don't even know what it is supposed to taste like. But, as often happens, once these ideas get in my head, the only thing to do is to follow them through. So I perused 1001 Delicious Soups and Stews and found not 1, but 4 recipes for borscht. I had no idea.

This recipe, for Russian Borscht (as opposed to Ukranian or Eastern European) used up only 1/2 head of cabbage, leaving me with 1 1/2 heads of red cabbage left to consume somehow... It did call for turnip, beets, carrots, and onion, all shredded, which was a joy of a task. However, it was all worth it. At least the grown ups liked it. The 4 year old tried a teeny little taste and then spent 5 minutes licking a cloth to get rid of the taste.

Regardless, the leftovers ended up in 1 quart and 3 pints and were processed in the pressure canner for 90 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure. They lost all that lovely red color. Maybe they are not supposed to be canned this way? Anyone out there know?


  1. A little research shows that beets contain betalains, which are heat labile. Which doesn't explain the reason that pickled beets don't lose their color, except that maybe the processing time and the peak temperature are both less?

  2. Despite the color change, the taste is the same. Mmm.

  3. Hey Donna, Doesn't the leftover soup get over- cooked if you pressure cook it? I would think the vegies get too mushy...and if there is rice or pasta in it, they would turn to mush also?

    As a recent empty-nester and soup lover, I always make big pots of soup and freeze the leftovers. I'd prefer to can it (so as not to take up space in my freezers), but I've never thought of it until I started reading your blog.

    Besides....I'm kind of a chicken when it comes to using my pressure cooker...but I must overcome my fear! Right? :-)


  4. Right! I don't can any soups with rice or pasta in them. I add that when I heat up the soup later, otherwise all the liquid gets absorbed by the starch. The veggies don't really get all that mushy. They're pretty mushy to start with there's no major difference.


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