Learn to Make Borscht with Neko Case and Get a Taste of Her New Album

What’s the difference between borscht and alt-country music?

Uh, pretty much everything, except for singer-songwriter, Neko Case, the most recent in a long list of celebrities to share Ukrainian beet soup recipes with an adoring public.

Filmed at the behest of Rookie, an online magazine by and for teenage girls, Neko’s videotaped lesson is both basic and refreshingly unexacting. Her status as the child of Ukrainian immigrants affords her the street cred to tell viewers they should take it as a sign they’re on the right track should someone of eastern European extraction insist they’re doing it wrong. (Her on-camera version is gluten-free, and—prior to the addition of sour cream and chicken stock—lactose-free and vegan, as well.)

Interested in sampling her version? Put the laptop on the counter. You won’t miss anything if you commence chopping right away. The demo is as casual as her lack of styling, clocking in at nearly twenty minutes, including tips for tear-free onion cutting, celery leaf usage, and the making of mirepoix.

You’ll also get a tiny taste of “Man,” the first single from her soon-to-drop new album,The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, though keep your ears peeled for the song that plays as the credits roll. In an age defined by such pressure cooker shows as Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, and Chopped, the phrase “If I puked up some sonnets, would you call me a miracle” is oddly alt-appetizing.

Neko Case’s new album is still streaming for free at NPR’s First Listen site.

Related Content:

Allen Ginsberg’s Personal Recipe for Cold Summer Borscht

Cookpad, the Largest Recipe Site in Japan, Launches New Site in English

Archive of Handwritten Recipes (1600 – 1960) Will Teach You How to Stew a Calf’s Head and More

Ayun Halliday just discovered kvass. Follow her @AyunHalliday



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  1. Donald says . . . | February 4, 2014 / 10:46 pm

    I thought Niko Case was vegan?!?! She could have used vegetable broth and vegan sour cream instead of chicken broth and dairy-based sour cream. In addition, she could have omitted the honey or replaced it with some other sweetener… I would not even call that soup vegetarian (due to the chicken broth)…

    pfft… and she is an animal rights activist? Hypocrisy!

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