Borscht - A Classic Beet Soup
This is a really delicious beet soup. I know what you're thinking. Beets? Yuk! Trust me. Try it. You'll be pleasantly surprised. It's all veggie so it's a great #vegan dish or #vegetarian soup for all your plant based diet needs. With a hint of sour, this soup is very addictive. I mean I really couldn't put the spoon down. Well, I did put it down... I kept putting it in my bowl and back to my mouth until all the Borscht was gone.
The first time I tried Borscht, I was a waitress for a catering company. One of the head waiters had a Russian heritage and made the staff Borscht after some event we had worked. He made his Borscht with beef. It was deep red and delicious. He served his warm and that's how I serve mine. You can also serve it cold to eat this soup year around. But my coworker's soup was so good. I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't a big beet fan. So I couldn't imagine that it would be something that I would actually like. That's why you should always be willing to at least try something different.
There are quite a few different kinds of recipes for Borscht. Some ask that you shred the vegetables but I like this hearty version with meaty chunks of vegetables. I also like that the vegetables are roasted first to intensify the flavors. What makes this recipe special is that it brings deep forest flavors at every bite. This recipe switches out white potatoes for a more flavorful sweet potato. Finish the soup with red wine vinegar for that addictive-ly sour taste. This is also a great make-ahead dish because the red color and the flavors get better over time. So it's actually better to make this the day before. So if you're planning a party or have to bring a dish to a potluck, this is a great option!
If I haven't convinced you to try Borscht yet, let's make it easier. Don't call it Borscht. Just call vegetable soup. And who doesn't like vegetable soup?
3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
3 Beets, Scrubbed, peeled, cubed
2 Carrots, cubed
1 Large Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 Large Yellow Onion, Thinly Sliced
1 Leek, Whites & Green Parts, Thinly Sliced
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
8 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 - 2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 Head of Cabbage, Shredded
4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Garnish with sour cream (or vegan sour cream)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. Toss beets, sweet potato, and carrots in 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Spread in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan.
3. Roast for 35 - 40 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
4. While the vegetables are roasting, in a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and add in 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Once melted, add in the leeks and onions.
5. Saute leeks and onions for about 15 minutes until the onions are translucent and the leeks are sticky. Add in remaining 4 cloves garlic and cook for another minute more.
6. Add in vegetable broth, roasted vegetables, thyme, and Bay leaves. Turn up heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, add in shredded cabbage, and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, until cabbage is tender.
7. Add in red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
8. You can serve with a dollop of sour cream.