In this cold cold weather, nothings better than an amazing warm hearty vegetable soup!!
One of the very first recipes we both learnt prior to even meeting each other was the Borscht soup, but more towards the Hong Kong style. It was such a coincidence that we both loved this soup so incredibly. Took us a couple years to debate whose was better, and eventually we combined the best of both and made this!
You’d notice if you search up Borscht, it is a red purplish soup filled with plenty of beetroots. Whilst if you search up Hong Kong styled Borscht, its orange! Why? Well…apparently… awhile back, heaps of Russians fled to Shanghai, introducing the locals to Russian cuisine including Borscht, which became really popular. It was however difficulty finding or growing beetroots, therefore they were substituted with tomatoes. Years later, many Shanghainese moved to Hong Kong during the China civil war, bringing the cuisine there. It became an appetizer commonly served at Hong Kong cafes and usually called ‘lor sung tong’ in Cantonese, which literally means Russian soup.
In this recipe, there is A LOAD of vegetables, including BOTH beetroots and tomatoes, making it such a beautiful looking soup with extra good flavours. Instead of using the white cabbage, we LOVE the purple one. Its SO beautiful and tastes sweeter. We used both beef and pork for the soup base, but note you can use either just beef or pork as well. Lately, we’ve been trying with just beef short ribs and OMGOSH, YUMMM!
To begin! CHOP CHOP CHOP. With both us, we can manage within 20 minutes now with preparations, so get your helpers!
For cooking, you can either use conventional stove or pressure cooker instant pot. Lately we have been trying to make good use of the instant pot. Either way, you begin by heating 1 tablespoon oil, add garlic, ginger and onions. When fragrant, add brisket pieces and pork ribs (OR whichever bone/meat parts you have picked) to lightly brown them. Add in diced vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beet roots including its liquid and celery), followed by pouring in beef stock and tomato juice. Finally, add in tomato paste and bay leaves, and stir briefly to mix. For instant pot/pressure cooker, set for soup and cook for 20 minutes. For pot over stove, bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 2 hours.
Transfer soup to larger pot over stove if using instant pot once it’s done, then add the 2 cups of water. More water may need to be added if using the longer conventional pot over stove method. Adjust accordingly when seasoning later on. Bring soup to a boil and then add the cabbages. Let it simmer for another 30 minutes. During the last 10-15 minutes, add in the beans, and season with sugar, salt, white vinegar and pepper. Ready to serve hot by itself or together with cooked pasta (e.g. large shells/spirals/macaroni!)