Red Beet Borscht Soup

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Borscht is a nutrient dense, cleansing soup, originating from Ukraine. The number of vitamins and minerals in the beetroot are what makes borscht a true nutritional powerhouse. A few of the notable health benefits include: reduction of blood pressure, stomach, liver, and heart protection and cleansing of the blood and circulatory system.

INGREDIENTS

Borscht:

  • 3 medium beets peeled and grated
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil divided
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you are not vegetarian/vegan) + 6 cups water
  • 3 medium potatoes peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots peeled and thinly slice

Zazharka (Mirepoix) Ingredients:

  • 2 celery ribs trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of ketchup or 3 tablespoons tomato sauce

Additional Flavorings:

  • 1 can white cannelini beans with their juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons  white vinegar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 large garlic clove pressed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel, grate and/or slice all vegetables, keeping sliced potatoes in cold water until ready to use.
  2. Heat a large soup pot (5 1/2 Qt or larger) over medium/high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add grated beets and sauté 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beets are softened.
  3. Add 4 cups broth and 6 cups water. Add sliced potatoes and sliced carrots then cook for 10-15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  4. While potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium/high heat and add 2 tablespoon of oil. Add chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Sauté stirring occasionally until softened and lightly golden (7-8 minutes). Add 4 tablespoons of Ketchup and stir fry 30 seconds then transfer to the soup pot to continue cooking with the potatoes.
  5. When potatoes and carrots reach desired softness, add 1 can of beans with their juice, 2 bay leaves, 2-3 Tablespoon of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 pressed garlic clove, and 3 tablespoon of chopped dill. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes and add more salt and vinegar to taste.

Serve hot or cold alone for a vegan version, or with a dollop of sour cream or real mayo, for a vegetarian take. Warm, fresh baked biscuits go well with this soup!

Resource : Natasha’s Kitchen

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