Summer Borscht

How can you tell it’s beet season?

Well for starters, you could take a look at the number of recipes on my blog that include beets… Seriously, I have beets coming out the wazoo and I don’t know what to do with them all!

This week, I turned to a classic: borscht soup. Despite it being the month of August, there is something about borscht that makes me think of winter… so I think I’m going to freeze most of this soup to enjoy when there’s snow on the ground. Still, there’s nothing stopping you from serving up a bowl of beety goodness this summer! In fact, I just had a bowl for lunch and it was awesome.

I love the way the beets in the soup turn all the other vegetables a warmer shade. It almost makes the soup more comforting. The broth is sweet and earthy and — as with all of my soups — there are almost more vegetables than there is liquid. My version also includes parsnips, because they are a totally underrated vegetable and they deserve the spotlight more often.

Topped with a dollop of plain greek yoghurt (my preferred alternative to sour cream), this soup is a winner!

Summer Borscht

2 onions
4 cloves garlic
1 large bunch of beets
10 small red potatoes
4 carrots
2 parsnips
1 small green or savoy cabbage
olive oil
1 tbsp fresh or dried dill
3 tbsp fresh or dried parsley
1 vegetable bouillon cube
3 tbsp red wine vinegar

1. In a large pot, heat some olive oil on medium heat.

2. Peel the onions and garlic cloves. Chop the onion into 1 inch pieces. Thinly slice the garlic. When the olive oil is hot, add both to the pot and stir to cover with oil. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Wash the beets and potatoes. For extra nutrition, do not peel either vegetable. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to onion mixture and stir to coat with oil.

4. Wash and peel the parsnips and carrots. Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (cut these slices in half or quarters if they are larger than bite-sized). Add to the vegetables and stir.

5. Cover the vegetables with water. Add bouillon cube, parsley, dill, and vinegar. Cover the pot and turn the heat up to high to bring water to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and keep covered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

6. Wash the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Chop the cabbage into thick slices (about 4 inches long and 1 inch thick) and add to the soup once the 10 minutes are up. Stir again and top up with water if necessary. Allow the soup to simmer on medium-low heat for at least 20 more minutes. Taste a potato or a beet to check for vegetable tenderness, as these are the hardest veggies in the soup.

7. If you would like, reserve your vegetable peelings from the carrots, parsnips, and cabbage, wash them thoroughly, and place in a separate pot. Fill with as much water as possible and allow the stock to simmer for between 30 minutes to an hour. Strain and reserve fresh stock for other uses by freezing them in an ice cube tray, then transferring them to a freezer bag.

I took this picture right after taking the soup off the heat, so the pink from the beets hadn't had time to really colour the entire soup. Your borscht will most likely be bright fuschia!

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One thought on “Summer Borscht

  1. Pingback: Fresh Vegetable Stock | dontforgettheoliveoil

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