This vegan Beet Greens Vegetable Soup makes a refreshing and nutritious lunch idea, perfect to enjoy in spring and summer.
Polish Beet Greens Vegetable (Botwinka) Soup
Beet greens soup was one of my favourite soups when I was growing up in Poland. It tasted tangy but also a little earthy, more so than beetroot soup (which does not contain beet greens). I loved the mixture of leafy ‘bits’, cubed root vegetables and herbs. Mainly parsley and dill, the most widely used herbs in Polish cuisine. Traditional Polish beet greens soup (‘botwinka’) was usually meat based (most Polish soup recipes are) but today I am sharing a vegetarian version of this classic soup. I hope you like it. It’s very easy to make and delicious. And the leftovers taste even better the next day!
If you are looking for more Polish soup recipes check out this Polish Vegetarian Dill Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa).
It surprises me that, while so many green leafy vegetables, such as chard and kale, are valued for their high nutritional benefits and taste, and are widely available, beetroot is almost always sold without its greens. Which is a shame as beet greens (‘botwinka‘ in Polish) are very healthy and tasty. They contain important vitamins, such as A and K, are high in fibre, potassium, magnesium and other minerals. I wonder what happens to them? Once the beet greens are chopped off they wilt quite quickly, which is perhaps the reason they aren’t sold separately.
Beet Greens Soup Recipe
I was lucky enough the other day to find beetroot with its greens still attached to it and grabbed two large bunches! I’ll be able to cook several dishes with it! I can cook this vegetarian borscht using just the beetroot, though I can also make borscht using the beet greens in addition to the beetroot. If you find this idea appealing just add more water and seasoning to the borscht recipe and it should be fine.
Or you can cook this Beet Greens Vegetable Soup, made with lots of vegetables in addition to the beet greens, but without the beetroot (I am saving it for another recipe). This soup does require a fair bit of chopping but it’s really worth it in the end, I promise! The beet greens have a slightly bitter, nutty, earthy flavour, which is really delicious in this refreshing spring beet greens soup (remember to use the stems as well as the leaves!).
If you like this recipe you might also like my Beetroot Summer Soup (Chlodnik), which contains beets as well as beet greens.
I am adding this Beet Greens Vegetable Soup to Recipe Redux. This month it has challenged its members to create a recipe showing how they reduce food waste – in celebration of Earth Day tomorrow. When it comes to unwanted, perhaps not very pretty or popular vegetables or bits of vegetables we usually toss putting them in a soup is a very effective way of giving them a new life and reducing waste.
- Beet greens from 4 beets leaves and stems, rinsed thoroughly, finely chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 small leek thinly sliced
- 1/2 celery stalk finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled, grated
- 4 medium potatoes peeled, cubed
- 2 tablespoons each dill and parsley finely chopped (without the hard stems)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 allspice whole
- 2/3 tablespoon coarse sea salt plenty of pepper
- 4-5 cups hot water
In a large pot heat up the oil, add the bay leaf, allspice, garlic, onion, leek and celery, stir and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes stirring often.
Add the beet greens and carrot and continue cooking for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes, seasoning, water and stir. Cover, bring to boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes. Add the parsley and dill 20 minutes into the cooking.
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