Fridge-raid borsch

This vibrant Ukrainian soup is hugely adaptable and can use up all sorts of seasonal odds and ends. To prevent waste, don’t peel any of the veg, and include the cabbage cores and kale stems, both of which can be grated or cut into fine matchsticks along with the beetroot.

Serves 6

2 small beetroots (with the leaves, if available)
3 tbsp red-wine vinegar, or other vinegar
200g peeled onion and/or leek
1 carrot
1 tbsp olive oil
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes, or 400g fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 litre vegetable stock, or water, or chicken or duck stock
300g potatoes and/or other root vegetables (parsnips, turnips, swede) and/or beans of any kind
400g greens (white cabbage, kale, beetroot leaves, etc), sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
Soured cream and dill, to serve

Cut the beetroots into fine matchsticks, then mix with the vinegar.                               

Roughly dice the onion and grate the carrot, then saute in the oil in a large saucepan until they start to caramelise.Stir in the beetroot and its vinegar (save a few beetroot sticks to garnish), the tomatoes and stock, and add the root veg and beans – I used diced potatoes and haricots.

Bring to a boil, simmer for five minutes, then add the greens. Return to the boil and simmer for five minutes more, until the greens and roots are tender.                   

To finish, stir in the garlic, season and serve topped with soured cream, dill and the reserved colourful beetroot sticks.

Tom Hunt/The Guardian         2 April 2022