This Jan. 6, 2014 photo shows sausage borscht in Concord, N.H. This classic dish from Russia and much of Eastern Europe not only is a great way to eat a ton of vegetables, it also can be incredibly delicious. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
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Borscht is woefully underappreciated in America. 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.
But it generally has a bad reputation. People think of it as a cold, stringy and mostly bland soup. While it can be served cold, that’s by no means the rule. And as for the stringy and bland part, no way. Borscht can get a stringy or mushy texture if it’s overcooked. But so can pasta, so it’s really just a matter of paying attention.
And if you’ve had a bland borscht, you just haven’t had a good one. The key is to start it off right — a nicely sauteed onion and spicy pork sausage. They add tons of flavor and a great 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.