KATE BIKOVA. THE BORSCH
I cooked my first soup when I was 22. I was young and the soup was thin. It was some primrose substance consisting of chicken fibers and overcooked vermicelli. The burned carrot and the even more burned onion encolored it. There was nothing else in it. We were throwing the stale bread there and slurping this slush. Then we broke up. But not for long, because I haven't learned to cook soup yet. My second soup was the pea soup. Perhaps you imagine a thick creamy soup with some slices of bacon and smoked sausages. It wasn't that. I was wearing a burgundy dress and the soup was ruby. There were three peas at the bottom. We decided that the soup wasn't the pea soup. But it was tasty and we ate it anyway. The days went by, I didn't cook any soups anymore. We were going out, we were breaking up. I burned two cakes. But the soup wasn't born yet. I've always been preparing to cook the soup for very long. The soup is a useful and healthy meal. It always helps you out. You have been fighting with this world the whole day and in the evening you warm up the soup and things get warmer. You can't be too full with a soup. It fills you but is never able to fill you up. The most successful soup was the fish soup. It taught me a lot: for example, how to blanch tomatoes. The blanching is a huge stress for a vegetable, its skin comes off. The fish soup also taught me how to open cans. So the fish soup brought not only phosphor and iron, but the priceless life experience as well. But what was all this done for? It was for the borsch of course. Borsch is the king of soups. It is what every Soviet lady was proud of. It is violet-red, thick with cabbage, tomato paste, kidney beans and meat. You find so many things in borsch! I wanted to seize all of this. I was collecting the recipes, consulting with the chefs and the experienced housewives. I've been looking at the beetroot in the shop with jealousy and impatience for some time and suddenly I've realized that I was ready. I didn't just walk, I flew home. I felt that I did it many times in my mind. And finally the pans with ingredients were pleasantly gurgling on the stove. The process was long, there were joy and disappointment. The borsch was eventually done. I was so happy about our meeting. It seemed, everything became different. Even the sour cream from the fridge saw the borsch and immediately wanted to plunge into it. I never called it soup. I said: «We have the borsch. We'll warm it up». I was the hostess of the borsch the whole week. My boyfriend found new ingredients in it all the time - some lentils, another time a piece of chicken. «No one has ever cooked such a borsch» - he confessed after another meeting with the borsch. Of course, it was my borsch. But then the pot had been emptied, and we broke up. I don't cook soups anymore, but they taught me a lot.