Borscht, just the word sounds good to me, and the classic soup made of beetroot is world-famous. There are many ways to make it and it traditionally an Eastern European soup, and there are lots of different recipes out there. I happen to have children who whilst they are not keen on beetroot in it’s pure form, adore and will willingly eat beetroot soup, or borscht, so when I can get fresh beetroot in season, I will make it and they will down it happily.
Beetroot is very good for us, and whilst it does make your hands and kitchen surfaces look like a crime scene, it is worth making and delicious in soups.
This recipe is fairly easy to make and serves 4 people. You can freeze it to, for the winter, or whenever you want a dose of glorious deep pink, velvety soup. (I am starting to sound like Nigella Lawson, aren’t I?)
I break with tradition for my soup and I do blend it until it’s smooth and then add a few small chunks of beetroot at the end, but you can leave it chunky if you prefer.
You will need:
- 1 tbsp mild olive oil
- 15g/½oz of butter or dairy-free alternative
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium-sized beetroots (around 450g/1lb unpeeled weight), peeled and diced
- 1 large potato, diced (I don’t take the skin off)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1½ litres/2½ pints good vegetable stock.
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sour cream or vegan plain yoghurt, and fresh parsley
- A deep soup or saucepan
- A hand blender or mixer with blender settings
Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Once melted add the carrot, celery, and onion and cook gently for a few minutes. Add the beetroot (leaving a few small pieces aside to serve), potato and garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes, until well coated and combined.
Add the stock and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to just below the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cabbage and tomatoes. Cover and leave to simmer for a further 20 minutes, then either use your hand blender or mixer on blender setting to blend the soup until it’s as smooth as you like it.
Serve the soup with dollops of sour cream or vegan plain yogurt and and a sprinkling of parsely and the remaining chopped beetroot.
Did you know that if you eat a lot of beetroot, the way our bodies process it, turns our urine pink? My children think this is hilarious and I suspect this is partly why they like eating borscht so much…
(I have also had this with chopped boiled eggs sprinkled on the top too, if you wanted to add some protein or extra texture)
Love soup? We have a great gazpacho recipe that’s a family favourite too…