Scarlet Witch’s Brew
Scarlet Witch has become one of my favorite characters in Marvel movies, and her portrayal by Elizabeth Olsen is a lovely balance of fragile, sensitive, and powerful. For a Scarlet Witch-inspired dish, borchst seemed perfect! Vibrantly red (ok, magenta), with eastern European roots, and lots of witchy herbs.
I’m a big fan of beets, and often roast a bunch on the weekend and use them throughout the week in salads, soups, pilafs, etc. The easiest way to do beets is to wash, trim, drizzle with olive oil then wrap them in foil to roast whole, then peel off the skin once they are soft – it’s way easier than trying to peel/chop/grate them raw, which is a miserable pain that will thoroughly dye your hands and cutting board.
This soup is full of vegetables and herbs. Here are some of their witchy correspondences:
- Beets: beauty, love, rebirth
- Celery, bay leaf, oregano, carrots: psychic powers
- Onions: protection
- Cabbage: luck
- Garlic, thyme, dill: strength, courage
- Rosemary: memory
- Butter: reconciliation
Scarlet Witch by Jen Bartel
Scarlet Witch’s Brew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
- 1 bunch (3-4 medium) beets, cleaned, trimmed, roasted, peeled, and chopped
- 4-5 tomatoes, chopped, or one can
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 8 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
- your choice of herbs, fresh or dried – definitely recommend bay leaf and a handful of finely chopped dill! I also used a good sprinkle of Herbs de Provence which I usually have on hand, it has a mix of herbs like thyme, basil, marjoram and oregano – this is less “borschty” but more witchy :)
- salt & pepper to taste
- sour cream, more chopped dill to serve
Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Cook onion until thoroughly golden (but be careful not to burn). Add garlic, celery, and carrots, and cook for a minute or two (until garlic looses its raw smell), then add cabbage and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until cabbage is very soft. Add beets and tomatoes, the paprika, and another sprinkle of salt, and cook until tomatoes have completely broken down, are reduced and somewhat jammy.
Puree the whole vegetable mixture in a blender with a cup of water or chicken broth (you will likely have to do this in batches). Return to the pot and add the rest of the water or broth, plus the herbs. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh dill.
This dish was first posted for Fiction Kitchen Episode 14: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON in which Carrie and Diana discuss the action-packed Marvel movie including Thor’s magic juice, Black Widow’s burden, showing vs. telling…and apparently when we think Avengers, we think beets??