Lenten borshch with “vushka” is a traditional western Ukrainian dish cooked exactly for the Holy Supper.Vushka are a kind of dumplings, like ravioli or potstickers, with lenten mushrooms stuffing. Lenten transparent borshch may be sometimes dressed with garlic but do as you like.Some time ago this festive borshch was soured with beetroot sour adding peculiar slightly sour taste.It is used lemon juice or vinegar with this purpose now.
One more ingredient being added to Christmas borshch is broth of mushrooms used as stuffing for vushka. It supplements borshch with special flavour and taste.
For borshch (for 3 l water):
2 onions (1 to be boiled, 1 – to be fried)
2-3 bayberries and peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves
mushroom broth of vushka mushroom stuffing
vinegar or lemon juice (1-2 table spoons, as you like)
dough the same as for varenyky
50-70 g dry mushrooms
oil for frying
2 table spoons crumbs
As for me, it is better to cook borshch the day before the Holy Supper and vushka on the 6thof January, right before the supper. Though now it is possible to make vushka in advance and store them in a freezer.
We makeborshch ‘quickly’. I write ‘we’ because we do that together with my husband. People say, common job unites ;). So we peel the beetroots and shred themt, soak in water, add peeled carrot, parsley, and an onion cut into two halves. We cook all of this on small fire regularly removing scum. After borshch has boiled add bayberries and peppercorns, bay leaves and cook till carrot and parsley are ready. After that, turn off the fire and leave borshch to draw for several hours. Usually, we leave for a night in a cold place.
Then we strain borshch off, add mushroom broth, fry and add onion, bring it to the boil once more, add lemon juice or vinegar, add more salt and pepper. The borshch is served hot with vyshka in the soup-plate.
Vushka. Cook mushrooms for vyshka first. It is recommended to have edible boleti. We soak dry mushrooms in water for several hours and simply boil in case of frozen mushrooms. You may add common champignons to edible boleti to get more stuffing ;). Tasty mushrooms broth will be used for borshch.
Vushka stuffing. Strain off and grind mushrooms. Chop onion and fry in oil. Fry mushrooms separately for moisture to vapour and add onion, crumbs, salt, and pepper. We will stuff vushka with this mince.
Dough for vushka is the same as for lenten varenyky. But we take a quarter of water than it is stated in the recipe. I.e. we take 60-70 g of water and a pinch of salt. Knead the dough and make vushka the same in form as potstickers. Boil, strain them off, and put onto a board to drain.
If you want, you may add garlic to borshch with vushka. Bon appetit!