At last the big kick off has arrived for Russia 2018!
One match in and we have already seen the sublime (Russia’s storming 5-0 display) and the ridiculous (Robbie Williams peacocking around in the super short opening ceremony).
I’m really looking forward to the tournament- with some real stars on show. Will it be a last hurrah for Messi or Ronaldo, or will we see the next generation led by Neymar, Dele Alli or Mbappe step up to the plate?
One thing is for sure, the prospect of some top-level international football for the next month is certainly mouth watering.
For my first World Cup Dinner of 2018, where better to start than the host nation of Russia.
Last time out I made some Zakuski Plates, a sort of Russian tapas-come-smorgasborg, which were really tasty, bu this time I thought I would go for something more homely in the shape of the traditional Russian beetroot based soup Borscht.
I noticed a lot of recipes online called for a beef stock, and thin sliced beef in the soup, but I had a really nice bowl of Borscht in Singl-End café here in Glasgow a few months back which had a nice smokey ham flavour, so I thought I would try and replicate that in my recipe.
It turned out really great, and this is one World Cup Dinner I would really recommend you to try at home.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 medium-sized beetroot (about 450g/1lb, unpeeled weight), diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 stick of celery, diced
- 3 new potatos, diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1500ml ham stock
- 4 smoked bacon medallions cut into bite size squares.
- 2 cups of green cabbage, finely shredded
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Dollop of sour cream
- Heavy sprinkle of finely chopped dill
- Heat the oil in a large soup pan.
- Add the beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, onion and garlic, then fry until the vegetables start to soften up.
- Add in the stock and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for around 15 minutes.
- Add the chopped bacon and cabbage, then simmer for a further 20 minutes.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Divide the soup between bowls, then add a dollop of soured cream and sprinkle with chopped dill.
- Serve with sourdough bread and a green salad. A shot of vodka is nice too!