Since I love eggplant, it wasn’t difficult to make my second choice from the many borsch recipes offered in Bohdan Zahny’s The Best of Ukrainian Cuisine.
Surprisingly, there is no vinegar or lemon juice in this excellent borsch, but we did not miss it.
BORSCH Z BAKLAZHANAMY (Borsch with Eggplants)
½ pound beets
½ pound eggplants (this is double Bohdan’s amount but next time I would add even more)
½ pound potatoes (if desired – I didn’t use potatoes)
½ pound cabbage
½ pound green pepper (but Bohdan suggests 2 green peppers)
¼ pound carrot
¼ cup tomatoes
¼ pound onions
8 cups degreased chicken broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/8 tsp pepper
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tbsp each dill and parsley for garnish
1. Julienne beets and cut the eggplant into large dice. Set aside on one plate. (Large pieces of eggplant mean you'll get to recognize their melt-in-the-mouth texture in the midst of all the other vegetables.)
2. Cut into small pieces cabbage, green pepper, carrot, tomatoes, and onions. Set aside on another plate.
3. Chop dill and parsley and set aside.
4. Peel and julienne potato if using.
5. Put beets, eggplants, tomato paste, pepper, and chicken broth into Dutch oven and bring to a boil. (also potato, if desired)
6. Add bay leaves and the rest of the vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes.
7. Taste for salt. Add ½ tsp if needed.
8. Add sugar and cook another minute.
9. When serving, put a tsp of sour cream in each bowl and garnish with parsley and dill.