If there is one soup I actually crave once in a while and, as a result, make more often than any other soup it’s borscht and today I am going to show you How To Make Vegetarian Borscht. This soup ticks so many boxes for me – it’s easy to make, healthy, hearty and filling and contains my favourite vegetable – beetroot. And I absolutely love the colour!
Back in December I posted a recipe for Polish Christmas Eve Borscht, which essentially was a simplified version of this Vegetarian Borscht (plus it had porcini mushrooms, absent in this recipe), served without any vegetables in it. Today’s recipe is a hearty, satisfying soup which, served with a slice of good bread (whole grain, sourdough or rye will do, preferably with butter:), makes a delicious and healthy lunch.
In this recipe I tried to recreate the flavour I remember from my childhood. Not every borscht recipe is the same, which is no surprise as people have their own preferences as to flavour and texture, often based on where they come from or childhood memories (which is what inspired my own recipe). This for me is a good thing as it shows what an adaptable and versatile vegetable beetroot is.
Despite there being such a variety of borscht recipes, they all have 2 things in common: in addition to having beetroot as their main ingredient (rather obvious) they all contain an ingredient that adds sour, sharp notes to the soup. While some recipes call for sour cream or yogurt, usually added once the soup has been cooked, others use vinegar, lemon, sauerkraut or pickled beetroot, which are usually added during cooking. I like my borscht quite sharp and without the added calories of sour cream so I chose the pickled beetroot route. You can either add homemade or shop-bought pickled beetroot (it’s quite cheap and widely available), and you will need both the beetroot and the brine, so nothing gets wasted.
Do you have a favourite borscht recipe! I’d love to know what it is! Comments, opinions, suggestions, stories etc welcome:)
This recipe was shared with Meat Free Mondays, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Cook Once Eat Twice, Fiesta Friday (co-hosted by Frugal Hausfrau and Ginger & Bread), Cook Blog Share (hosted by Hijacked by Twins and Easy Peasy Foodie), Free From Fridays (hosted by Le Coin De Mel and Free From Farmhouse) and Saucy Saturdays (hosted by Mid Life Croissant, La Petit Chef, Take Two Tapas and The Flavor Bender)
Yields 10 portions
15 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- 3 small/medium beetroot, peeled, cut into quarters
- 1 jar (340 g) whole baby pickled beetroot (incl. brine) - coarsely grated
- 3 small/medium potatoes
- 1 cup cannelloni beans (tinned, without the brine or presoaked and cooked)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
- 6-7 cups hot water
- 1.5 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plenty of pepper
- In a large pot heat up the oil, add the onion, garlic and celery and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes stirring often.
- Add the beans and raw beetroot quarters, 1/2 the water, seasoning, cover and bring to boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel and dice the potatoes. After the soup has been cooking for 10 minutes take out the beetroot pieces and put on a plate to cool a little.
- Add the potatoes and grated pickled beetroot to the soup, cover and continue cooking.
- Coarsely grate the beetroot (use rubber gloves if you are grating them by hand), then put it back into the soup, add the remaining water and dill, cover and bring to boil again. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and continue cooking for another 12-15 minutes or so (until the potatoes are tender).