Borscht with a Difference

| December 5, 2011 | 11 Comments

Borscht by Muffet at flickr

“Everything I do, I do on the principle of Russian borscht. You can throw everything into it beets, carrots, cabbage, onions, everything you want. What’s important is the result, the taste of the borscht.” Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet

Borscht is the best way to get healthy powerfood beets filled with beta-carotenes and minerals
into our diet. It is quick to cook, easy to vary, and enjoyed by everyone, even children.

This is a traditional soup in Ukraine; many people from that country landed in my home city of Edmonton.
This is my vegan version with just a few adjustments to the ingredient list.

There is one ingredient that makes this borscht special; that is fresh dill and lots of it.
I garnish the soup with fresh dill at the end. The taste of sweet beets and dill is so delightful.

These vegetables are all from my gardens or given to me from friends’ gardens, except for the dill that came from the farmer’s market.

We have included a picture of each step so you can be sure your know how its done……

Ingredients:

 2 medium beets
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced into rounds
2 cups cabbage, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup fresh green beans, chopped
1 corn on the cob or 1 /2 cup frozen corn
2 tomatoes (optional), chopped
2 -3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame or almond oil
4 – 6 cups water (Make sure the vegetables are always covered with water)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Bunch of fresh dill weed, chopped (dried can be used)
Handful of parsley
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Few drops of Stevia (optional)
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
4 teaspoons sour cream** (optional)

Complete written directions also at bottom.

1.    Cut the beets into bite size chunks.

2.    In a stock pot over medium heat, heat the oil.
3.    Sauté the onion until it is translucent.
4.    Add beets and water.
5.    Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.

6.    Add the carrots and cabbage, cook for another 10 minutes.

7.    Add zucchini and beans, cook for another 10 minutes.

8.    Add corn and tomatoes, cook for another 10 minutes.


9.    Add lemon juice, stevia, salt and pepper to taste.

10.    Add parsley and dill weed, turn heat off and cover.

11.    Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

12.    Serve the soup with dollops of sour cream if desired.

Directions:
1.    Cut the beets into bite size chunks.
2.    In a stock pot over medium heat, heat the oil.
3.    Sauté the onion until it is translucent.
4.    Add beets and water.
5.    Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
6.    Add the carrots and cabbage, cook for another 10 minutes.
7.    Add zucchini and beans, cook for another 10 minutes.
8.    Add corn and tomatoes, cook for another 10 minutes.
9.    Add lemon juice, stevia, salt and pepper to taste.
10.  Add parsley and dill weed, turn heat off and cover.
11.   Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
12.  Serve the soup with dollops of sour cream** if desired.
Serves 4

*Cabbage is traditionally often put in this soup; I often do not put it in as my mother did not.
**Sour cream is a very traditional finishing touch and it can now be soy based.
Also, I do not put potatoes in but if you want to make this borscht more filling then use potatoes.

Benefits of Borscht:

More Healthy Soups
Kabocha Squash Soup: My favorite soup! Squash and ginger – yum!
Lentil Soup: The lentil was named one of the World’s Healthiest Foods by Health magazine. Read why here: Lentils

Top image (borscht): Muffet / Flickr

About Diana Herrington

I am the Founder and Author at Real Food For Life. Taught cooking classes worldwide. Create original, healthy recipes and menus, which are gluten free and white sugar free. Also, the author of the GREEN means LEAN and Balance Your Body e-books. I turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar free, gluten free eating and cooking.

Tags:

Category: Recipes, Soup

Comments (11)

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  1. barbara says:

    Yes , Borschtsch, is a stable in my kitchen.My motherwas part Polish and used and I still do different ingredients.Borchtsch is also widly used in Russia
    We use- well if you don’t eat meat ,omit it, 1 pound Beef meat,cut up in cubes
    1 Cup white Beans,soaked the Night before.Rinse Beans off add Beef, 4 Tomatoes(not canned ones) about 1 Liter(4cups) of Water,Salt,fresh grind Pepper,2 whole diced up Onions,fresh Garlic if you prefer,bring to a boil,lower Temperature and cook for about an 1 Hour.Meanwhile cut 4 Potatoes,2 Carrots ,2 red Beets .
    Add Vegetable and 1 Cup of fresh Sauerkraut to the Meat and Beans(after 1 Hr) cook for another Hour.Use Pepper,Salt,Nutmeg,a little bit Cinamon,fresh Parsley, to taste.
    Cool off and serve, keeps fresh for up to 2 weeks.Borchtsch taste better after a few days.

  2. Randy & Diana thanks again for the inspiration.
    eating the right foods often means having the imagination and know how to change the routine.
    You guys are masters.
    Pierrette & I and our whole Thee Quest team are always anxious to see what you are going to come up with next.
    We know you really believe in health.
    Thanks for everything,
    Pierre & Pierrette Trudel
    Founders of Thee Quest

  3. annie says:

    such a beautiful recipe.

    i LOVE borscht — unfortunately beets don’t like me. but i do have fond memories of eating borscht at this wonderful russian restaurant we used to go to in berkeley, ca.

    thanks for the memories.

  4. Mary Samarine says:

    Fine – good – but try to respect the recipe! There has never been and can never be squash, zucchini or (horror!) corn in Bortstch! It is a great soup, but please, a little respect!

  5. Olga says:

    The recipe described above looks like a very good vegetable soup, but it is NOT Borsch! Call it a beetroot soup, veggie delight, etc., but do NOT call it Borsch – a fatty soup based on beef bullion and originally, in Ukrain, was also seasoned with pig’s fat.

  6. I hear you Olga, and I know I have taken liberties in my recipe. That said I grew up in a Ukrainian rich area; my neighbors did not put pigs fat in it and beef bullion was optional. A variety of seasonal vegetables were put in it each fall. After I posted this recipe I did a search to see what borscht recipes; I saw there were many different varieties,

  7. Joyce says:

    I agree with Mary. Many vegetables can be added to borscht; my Ukrainian relatives and friends often use green or yellow beans and peas, but I never saw any type of squash or corn. Please remember the BAY LEAF! Bay leaves & dill give borscht its distinctive flavour (besides the beets of course). We also use vinegar rather than lemon juice. And for those who don’t like sour cream, sweet cream stirred in will do.

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  10. Sylvia Powell says:

    Thank you for reintroducing me to beets! I tried this recipe because I love vegetables, EXCEPT for beets. But I found both my energy level and disposition improved each time I ate a bowl! This soup, and beets in general, have now become a regular part of my diet.

  11. Sylvia, that is so good to hear. I love beets and am happy my soup has changed your relationship to beets. :)

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