First, get some olive oil up to a good heat in a large pan. About a generous tablespoon should do. Finely chop a couple of sticks of celery together with an equal quantity of leeks, making sure they are completely free from dirt.

Chop three quarters of a pound of fresh beetroot into small squares and add it all to the pan, stirring for about 4 minutes.

Take a couple of medium sized potatoes and a similar amount of carrot. Grate them both and add to the pan, stirring all the time to get a good, early fusion under way. The rest is all a matter of taste, but for a decent beautiful beetroot borscht, the stock must be the best you can muster. For non vegetarians and to keep the recipe true to its Russian beet roots (!), use a little more than 2 pints of rich beef stock. Otherwise, a vegetable bouillon will do nicely.

The dish will certainly need salt. Gradually add sea salt to taste and balance this with your preferred dose of ground black pepper. This is now well on the way.

When the borscht is breaking down a bit, add a chopped, fresh fig, a glass of red wine a spoonful of wine vinegar and a half cup of runny yoghurt. You can use soured cream instead of the yoghurt if this is in the fridge. Most purists would only use the soured cream, but yoghurt works just as well.

The finishing off is very much a personal thing. If it’s a really smooth dish you prefer, then whizz the whole thing up with a hand help blending tool. It’s now ready to serve. A small lacing of pouring cream will not only taste sublime, but will give a fabulous contrast to the rich colour when served. A touch of grated carrot and some croutons will also top it off beautifully, gracing your dinner guests with the very finest beautiful beetroot borscht. What better dish for a cold Autumn evening.

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Arthur C Throovest ran an outside catering company, Big Triangle, which serviced Birmingham City Council for their premier, prestigious events. The Birmingham International Film Festival was the most demanding event for this co-operative, catering for 500 people for lunch and serving them all within 45 minutes; all with different tastes,too. Special cultural diets all had to be catered for and the whole operation took place out of doors in Birmingham City Centre.


By yanam49

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