This Polish inspired, vegan beet greens vegetable soup is a refreshing and nutritious lunch idea, perfect to enjoy in spring and summer.
Beet greens vegetable soup (‘botwinka‘ in Polish) 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 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!
Are beet greens healthy
Yes they are!
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 delicious. They contain important vitamins, such as A and K, are high in fibre, potassium, magnesium and other minerals.
How to store beet greens
Keep them in the fridge in a paper or plastic bag for up to 3 days. The leaves wilt quite quickly so try to use them soon after purchase.
Another Polish inspired soup made using beet greens is cold beet soup (‘chlodnik‘). This soup also uses beets.
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.
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!).
What herbs and extras go well with vegetarian beet greens soup
This soup typically contains dill and parsley and I am using both. But you could use just one of these herbs or skip them altogether if you prefer. Use a bit of tarragon or thai basil if you like. This botwinka soup is delicious served with pumpernickel or rye bread.
More Polish soup recipes
Beet Greens Vegetable Soup
- 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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Recipe Link Parties
I am adding this nutritious beet tops soup recipe 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.