If you live in Canada, particularly on the Prairies, beet borscht is a diet staple. I’ve enjoyed a lot of good heaping bowls of this beautiful soup over the years but none have been better than the following recipe.
I started with the best 3 old family fav. borscht recipes, took out the ham bone and added my own personal ingredient preferences. If you have fresh garden beets (precooked and shredded if you have the time) it will be an even more glorious deep-red color.
Serve (hot or cold) with rye bread and a dollop of sour cream if you like. Makes 6-8 generous servings. Freezes well.
Russian Beet Borscht
3 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
2 med. carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery (use the leaves also),diced
1 large potato, diced
½ small cabbage (red or green) finely chopped or shredded
½ – (155gr.) pkg. vegetarian pepperoni or ham, diced
2 – 14 oz. cans of diced (drained and rinsed) or equivalent partially cooked and peeled fresh beets if available (grated if possible, so good!)
2– 14 oz. cans stewed tomatoes (keep the juice and add to the soup with the tomatoes
2 T. fresh or 2 teas. dried finely chopped dillweed
2-3 T. apple cider vinegar (to taste)
1/2-1 teas. sea salt, to taste (opt.)
1/8-1/4 teas. freshly-ground pepper, to taste
1-1 ½ teas. Mrs. Dash Original Blend OR Spike Seasoning Blend, to taste
1/2-1 T. honey or dark brown sugar (to taste)
5 C. vegetable soup stock
2 T. cornstarch
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic,celery, potato, cabbage and vegetable pepperoni or ham and sauté for 5 minutes.
Cover and steam for 2 additional minutes to release flavors. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Blend cornstarch with 5 T. cold water until smooth. Add to soup for last 10 minutes of cooking time.
Reprinted from: Not Just for Vegetarians, Delicious Homestyle Cooking, the Meatless by Geraldine Hartman. All rights reserved.