Evgeni Malkin's mother's lucky borscht

Red Borscht

Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin loves his parents, Natalia and Vladimir, being here from Magnitogorsk, Russia,to watch him play -- in great part because his mom can cook for him. Just after scoring a hat trick in Game 2 against the Carolina Hurricanes, Malkin told the Toronto Sun that was the key to his success: "Every time before a game, I get great cooking. Great Russian food" (that day, a beef entree with soup).

His mom says (via the translation of Penguins sales account executive George Birman) that this is her son's favorite.

  • 1 pound any kind of meat, cubed (approximately 1 1/2-inches)
  • 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 medium head cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 8-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and shredded
  • 3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for topping
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Fill a large pot halfway with water (about 2 quarts), add the meat and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pot. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Add the cabbage and the can of diced tomatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the beets, and cook until tender. Add the carrots, the white sugar and the raw garlic. Stir in the tomato paste and water until well blended. Add skillet contents to the soup and bring to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper and additional sugar, if desired.

Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with sour cream and fresh parsley.

-- Natalia Malkin, via the Pittsburgh Penguins


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