Chinese Name: 罗宋汤
English Name: Borscht; Red Vegetable Soup; Luosong Soup
Main Ingredients: Beef; Tomato; Onion; Carrot
Borscht罗宋汤, also known as Red Vegetable Soup红菜汤, is a dish from Eastern Europe and later spread to China. In history, the raw materials of Luosong soup have changed a lot, including Niufangfeng牛防风, Gevas格瓦斯, Oxalis, cabbage, etc. Later, it evolved to take sugar beet as the main material, often adding potatoes, carrots, spinach, beef pieces, cream, and so on. Therefore, the soup is purplish red. In some places, tomato is the main material and sugar beet is the auxiliary material. There are also orange borscht and green borscht without beet and ketchup.
The name “Luosong soup” is said to be a Chinese transliteration of Russian soup (Luosong is Russian, which comes from Pidgin English in early Shanghai). Russian borscht (borshch) is another commonly used name. In some areas of Northeast China, Luosong soup is also known as “Supo soup苏波汤”.
During the October Revolution十月革命, a large number of Russians wandered to Shanghai. They brought vodka and Russian Western food. The first western restaurant in Shanghai was opened by Russians. This soup is evolved from Russian-style red vegetable soup. Russian-style red vegetable soup is spicy and sour, which is more sour than sweet. Shanghainese are not used to it.
Later, influenced by the purchase of raw materials and local tastes, it gradually formed a unique Shanghai-style Luosong soup with sweet in sour, fragrant in sweet, fat but not greasy, fresh, smooth, and refreshing.
This Shanghai-style borscht is not only for Western food but also common in schools, units, families, and Chinese restaurants. Over time, this soup has formed various schools and branches in Shanghai, among which the most representative are “Restaurant School饭店派”, “Canteen school食堂派” and “Family school家庭派”.
Among them, the “Hotel School” is represented by the Huaihai West Food Club淮海西菜社. After launching borscht that year, after several improvements and updating the process, it finally became the leader of Shanghai-style borscht. Later, Western restaurants and even individual Chinese restaurants followed suit.
“Canteen school食堂派” is also known as “Alley school弄堂派”. The soup is often filled in large basins or warm tea buckets without ketchup or with very little ketchup for coloring. The soup is often “clear soup shaking the water”, floating with a few threads of red. Most tomatoes are not peeled, which is very different from borscht in Western restaurants. Strangely, even such a light soup is delicious. So far, many middle school students are unwilling to eat school meals. They go to the school gate to buy this soup and add a piece of bread to make lunch.
People of the “Family school” have no chance to learn the cooking method of Western restaurants, nor do they want to degenerate like the “Canteen school”. So we had to figure it out by ourselves and developed various cooking methods, in which beef was mainly used to replace red sausage and thicken it.
How to make Borscht?
- 300g beef
- An onion
- Two tomatoes
- 1 potato
- 1 carrot
- A few slices of cabbage
- A little butter
- Step 1, Cut the beef into pieces, put a few slices of ginger into the pot in cold water and start cooking.
- Step 2, After blanching, remove the beef. Then directly put it into the casserole, add half a pot of water and start stewing. Stew for 45 minutes to an hour, and then add other dishes.
- Step 3, Shred onions, potatoes, and carrots.
- Step 4, Cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Tomatoes are the key to this soup. Generally, two large tomatoes are used, and three small ones can be put.
- Step 5, Fry the butter in a hot pot. And the butter will be a little creamy. If there is no butter, olive oil or salad oil can be used instead.
- Step 6, Add onion, potato, and carrot and stir fry until fragrant. Then pour it directly into the stewed beef soup.
- Step 7, In the reheat pan, stir fry the butter, put in the tomato pieces, and stir fry the tomato soup. Then stir fry with ketchup, and put more ketchup. Then pour the tomato juice into the pot and stew it together.
- Step 8, Continue to stew for about 2 hours.
- Step 9, Finally, just add salt out of the pot. The amount of salt depends on your personal preference.