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Borscht with Beets and Beet Greens

Sharon Palmer

This rustic borscht is based on the humble, rugged vegetables of sustenance, beets and cabbage. A traditional dish of countries in Eastern Europe, it exemplifies the ways that people have cultivated and celebrated vegetables throughout history—even in cold climates—realizing how important they were for health and survival. In my vegan, gluten-free recipe for Borscht with Beets and Beet Greens, I reserve one of the most nutritious parts of the beet—the greens—to add a touch of pungent, green flavor to this gorgeous, fuchsia-colored soup, packed with powerful phytochemicals in every bite. It also helps reduce food waste to use those beet tops! It’s the perfect cool weather accompaniment for a toasted sandwichveggie burger or wrap. Serve this borscht with my homemade vegan sour cream for a great compliment to this dish.

If you’d like to learn more about Eastern European food traditions, check out some of the work from my friend and fellow dietitian, Mascha Davis (Nomadista), who is from Ukraine. 

 

Step-by-Step Guide:

Select beautiful, red beets for the soup.
Remove the beet greens and set aside. Scrub the beets and remove any woody portions from the skins.
Slice beets into matchstick pieces.
Slice 2 carrots into matchstick pieces.
Cut onion into half, then slice.
Heat 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil in a large pot and add beets, carrots, onions, and garlic and sauté for 8 minutes.
Slice cabbage into thin pieces and add to pot.
Add 5 cups water to pot.
Add 2 vegetable boullion cubes to pot.
Add 2 bay leaves to pot. Stir well, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.
Coarsely slice beet leaves and stems. Add to soup.
Add juice of one-half lemon, cover and cook for 2 minutes, just until leaves are wilted but bright green. Add black pepper to taste. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Serve in soup bowls, garnishing with herbs or chives and vegan sour cream, if desired.

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Borscht with Beets and Beet Greens


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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This rustic vegan, gluten-free soup is inspired by Eastern European food traditions, with its foundation of beets, cabbage, carrots and onions—beet greens are added too for health and flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh beets with tops (about 3 large beets)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, halved, and sliced
  • ½ medium head cabbage, sliced into thin shreds
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cubes vegetable bullion broth base
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ fresh lemon, juiced
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional Garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives or herbs
  • ½ cup vegan sour cream (may also purchase pre-made vegan sour cream)

Instructions

  1. Prepare beets by cutting off leaves at top, trimming, removing roughy, woody spots, and scrubbing well. Slice into matchstick pieces. Reserve tops, including stems and leaves.
  2. Measure olive oil into a large pot. Heat olive oil and add sliced beets, carrots, garlic, and onions. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes.
  3. Add cabbage, water, bullion base, and bay leaves. Stir well, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, coarsely slice beet leaves and stems. Add to soup with lemon juice. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, just until leaves are wilted but bright green. Add black pepper to taste. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  5. Serve into 8 soup bowls (about 1 ¼ cups per serving). Garnish with fresh chopped chives or herbs and 1 tablespoon of vegan sour cream.

Notes

Instant Pot Directions: Follow step 1 above. For steps 2 and 3, place all ingredients in the container of the Instant Pot. Press “Soup” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. When done, add beet leaves and lemon juice in step 4 to hot soup, season with black pepper if desired, and garnish with chives.

Slow Cooker Directions. Follow step 1 above. For steps 2 and 3, place all ingredients in the container of the Slow Cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-12 hours, according to manufacturer’s directions. When done, add beet leaves and lemon juice in step 4 to hot soup, season with black pepper if desired, and garnish with chives.

  • Category: American
  • Cuisine: Eastern European

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 56
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 293 mg
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Keywords: vegan borscht, borscht recipe

For other plant-based soup recipes, check out:

Vegetable Stone Soup
Kabocha Squash Leek Soup
Carnival Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric

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