A culinary gift from Ukraine, borscht is a veggie-laden, hearty, warming soup that is coloured perfectly for the season. This version adds chickpeas to make each spoonful even more substantial and has a punchy yogurt sauce for a finishing touch. We’d dare say that the soup tastes even better after a day or two, which is great news, since this recipe makes a big pot of nutritional goodness.
Heat oil in a 6 L large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt; heat until onion has softened and is beginning to brown; about 5 minutes. Add beets, potatoes, and carrots to pan; heat for 5 minutes.
Add cabbage and garlic; stir and cook for another 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, honey, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon to pan; stir and heat for 30 seconds.
Place broth and bay leaf in pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and balsamic vinegar and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 20 minutes. Fold in baby kale, if using.
In bowl, stir together yogurt, dill, horseradish, and a pinch of salt.
Place soup in serving bowls and top with a swirl of yogurt sauce.
This recipe is part of the Red Spread collection.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.