Borscht in Minutes

Borscht

Borscht

Growing up my Mom loved making a huge pot of borscht soup. And by loved, she made batches that had to have been 4 to 8 quarts of it. We ate off of it for days. Either one loves or hates beets, I love them fresh or canned, pickled or regular. And I love borscht, even if most of my family doesn’t (and I’ll admit it here – I don’t feed it to the two youngest. I have better things to do than remove beet stains from everything….) I just make it in smaller batches – and this is perfect for a meal or maybe two days if no one else likes beets ;-) I served ours over beds of rice, the soup seeps into it. I picked that habit up working for a small cafe in my late teens that offered soup with rice, alongside traditional sandwiches at lunch. The owner was of Asian descent, and it was her idea of lunch.

Borscht in Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 can beets with juice (15 to 19 ounces)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (not low sodium)
  • 1 Tbsp horseradish (if you like)
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt (vegan or regular)

At Home:

In a small pan, saute the onion in oil or melted butter for 5 minutes, or until soft.

In blender, puree the onion and beets, with the juice, broth and horseradish, if desired, until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

PS: And don’t forget some dill weed sprinkled on top!

Vegan Borscht

I tried a new idea out for Borscht. This was good but I think I preferred Version 1 better that I made back in March. Still it was very good, just a bit too thick in veggies! Sadly I am the only one who enjoys Borscht – ah well. Neither Kirk or Ford have much desire for it. Their loss……

Borscht
Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch beets, peeled and chopped (I used 4, about 1½ cups)
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 8 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (used no-salt)
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about cup)
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage (used 8 ounce bag of purple)
  • 1 Tbsp dill weed
  • 8 ounces non-fat plain yogurt (used Greek style) (For vegan use soy)

Directions:
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beets, potato and carrots and sauté for a couple more minutes.
Add in the vegetable broth, tomatoes (with juice), lemon juice and dill and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook mostly covered for about 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Add in the cabbage and cook for 20 minutes.

Serve with yogurt on top if desired, for 100% vegan use soy yogurt.

Serves 6.

~Sarah

Vegan Friendly Borscht

Tonight’s dinner is a vegan friendly version of Borscht soup. Served up with a lovely mini-baguette via Dave’s Killer Bread on the side. Hearty and filling for these last cold days of early spring.

I found the original recipe in a copy of Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book on page 142.

I picked up a copy at the library – I have delved into new ways of baking and whatnot. The recipes for baking didn’t grab me but the soup recipes did! Vegan Borscht? I was intrigued. I grew up eating it made by my Mom but hers was full of beef and (gag) beef hot dogs. I am sure that is why my Dad and brother would eat it back then. Since then I have made Borscht a couple of times but not often enough. In its base form it is very, very healthy soup! Anyhow, I did make a couple changes but nothing major – ripe tomatoes are not something one finds in Washington in March so I used a can of diced organic ones. I used organic produce as much as I could, but don’t sweat it. The prices were close enough I splurged today.

It worked – and it tastes just like the Borscht my Mom made just minus the meat! Yum!

Borscht Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced (sweet or yellow)
  • 1 set beets (depending on size 3-6), washed, trimmed, peeled and matchstick cut
  • 1 medium yam, peeled and matchstick cut
  • 6 cups lower sodium vegetable broth (140 mg sodium per cup)
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (organic preferably)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp dried dillweed
  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage/carrot blend (precut coleslaw mix)
  • Salt to taste, if desired (I didn’t need any)
  • Cashew Cream for topping (see recipe below)

Directions:

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beets and yam and sauté for a couple more minutes.

Add in the vegetable broth, tomatoes (with juice), lemon juice and dill and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook mostly covered for about 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Add in the cabbage and carrot mix, cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve topped with the cashew cream.

Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp dried dillweed
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt to taste (I used ¼ tsp of kosher salt)

Directions:

  1. Soak the cashews for 2 hours in water and then drain.
  2. Add the cashews, lemon juice and water in a food processor and blend until creamy. You will want to process on high, scraping down often. It will take a few minutes. Add salt to taste, as desired and blend in.
  3. Store in the refrigerator tightly sealed for up to 1 week.
  4. Makes 1½ cups sauce.

~Sarah

Borscht Soup

When I was young my mom would make Borscht soup once a year – always when the beets were just harvesting. She would can it – jars and jars of it in our well house. Pretty purple/red jars. It has been at least a decade since I have eaten it. For some reason I had an incredible urge to make it today. I took a couple recipes and combined them with my ideas….and out came a very tasty soup. My version might not be as authentic as they come but it is pretty close – and quite fast to make.

Due to the very icky fresh beets I swallowed my pride and bought <gasp> canned beets. If using fresh you will need about a pound of them. Just cook in boiling water, let cool then peel and proceed. You can also use fresh cooked beets that often one can get at Trader Joes in the produce department.

Feel free to use any beef stock you like – I used low sodium beef bullion as I can control the sodium. This makes a soup very attractive to those on sodium restricted diets. If not, well, shake that salt shaker away.

Borscht Soup

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ pounds stew beef, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 quarts water (8 cups)
8 tsp low sodium beef bouillon
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed small
3 small yellow potatoes, cut into small wedges
1 10-ounce bag of shredded cabbage
1 15-ounce can beets, drained
Sour cream (and use full fat!)

Directions:
Melt the sugar in a dry pan over medium-high heat, and when the sugar is just turning a deep caramel color, add the beef and kosher salt. Add in at least 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper. Stir/shake the beef around until it is well browned, about 2 minutes, then add the balsamic vinegar, water, beef bouillon and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer the beef until it is tender, about 1 hour covered.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Warm the olive oil in a large heavy pot and sauté the onions, carrots and potatoes over medium-high heat until they are beginning to brown. Add the cabbage on top and turn off the heat. Let them sit till the hour is up for the beef. Add the sautéed vegetables to the soup and continue simmering until the vegetables are tender (about 10-15 minutes).

Cut the beets into wedges and add to the soup. Let heat through, taste and add more salt & fresh ground black pepper if desired. Discard the bay leaf.

Serve up bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 4-8, depending on bowl size/appetite.

~Sarah

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