Borscht, which is sometimes also spelled borsch andborshch, is a lovely vegetable soup that is almost always made with beets. The use of beets in this soup lend the dish a vibrant red color. There are some versions of borscht made without beets. There is an orange borscht, which is made with tomatoes, and a green borscht, which has a sorrel base. However, beet borscht is the most common form of this soup.
Borscht is a very common dish in Germany and Eastern Europe. It is believed that the soup was originally created in the Ukraine and then shared with nearby countries. Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe brought borscht to the United States. Although it is not as popular as chicken noodle or tomato soups, borscht is common in the United States, especially in areas with large Jewish communities.
Beet borscht can be prepared and served in two distinct ways: hot and cold. Hot borscht is a veryhearty soup that includes many vegetables in addition to beets. Vegetables in hot borscht may include cabbage, cucumber, beans, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes. Hot borscht might also be made with meats such as chicken, pork, or beef. Of course, in the Jewish tradition, borscht is never made with pork. Hot borscht is generally more like stew than soup and is often served with dark bread.
Cold borscht is common to the culinary traditions of Ashkenazi Jews. Cold borscht is much thinner than hot borscht and is almost always vegetarian. It is a sweet soup made of beets, onion, a bit of sugar, and lemon juice. Cold borscht is often garnished with adollop of sour cream at the center of the bowl.
Cold borscht is the most common type of borscht served in the United States, because it was this type of borscht that Jewish immigrants brought with them. Borscht is most common on the east coast, especially in New York. In fact, in New York City, there are dozens of diners that serve homemade borscht. If you happen to find yourself in the Big Apple with ahankering for delicious borscht, be sure to take yourself to the Carnegie Deli. While the Carnegie Deli is famous for its triple-decker sandwiches and celebrity clientele, it also serves some of the best borscht in the country.