Borscht (said “borsh,” kinda like the car “Porche,” but without the “e.”) is a soup of Eastern European heritage that most often includes large amounts of beets–giving it its gorgeous purple color. As I found out today, some borscht soups are served cold. Others, use tomatoes instead of beets. As with any cultural dish, there are numerous variations that are all still considered “borscht.”
The first time I ever tasted borscht was several years ago on a visit to Ukraine. I stayed at a little Christian lifestyle center just outside of Vinnitsa. Let me tell you, those people can cook! Sadly, I think Ukrainian borscht was actually also my very first introduction to beets. Woops. Yeah, I don’t think my parents were much into beets.
A few weeks ago, when we found beets in our first CSA box, I must admit that I was a little bit nervous. I’ve never been much of a beet person. (Okay, except for the borscht in Ukraine. That stuff was amazing.) What is a “beet person,” anyway? I just had a funny mental picture of big beets walking around and talking, kinda like Veggie Tales. That was weird.
After using up all of my CSA beets in this soup, I was actually a little sad. I had big plans for roasted beet and cannellini bean hummus. There just wasn’t enough this time. :(
That mess of white and purple and green and gold above? That, my friends, is the definition of delicious borscht with vegan sour cream swimming amidst beets, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onion, and dill.
What’s below? That, my friends, is a big spoonful of borscht headed straight for your mouth. Open wide!
Wondering what on earth a CSA box is? Check out my first post about CSA’s here, or read Kelly’s post about local produce at the Vegan Iowan here. If you want to know more about how you can sign up for your own CSA share, check out this website.
Have you entered our vegan cookbook giveaway yet? You still have a few more days!
I hope you each have a wonderful weekend.
Tasty Vegan Borscht
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 medium Russet potato peeled, thinly sliced, and quartered
- 3 large beets peeled, thinly sliced, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 medium cabbage shredded (or about 3 to 4 cups)
- 1 cup meatless crumbles I used Boca’s frozen crumbles, but you could use rehydrated TVP or any other vegan variety.
- 7 to 8 cups water divided, and based on your preference of wateriness :)
- 1 tablespoon dried dill or 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon McKay’s vegan chicken style seasoning or vegan vegetable bouillon
- 1 teaspoon pure cane sugar or agave nectar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and more to taste
- 2/3 cups vegan sour cream (Optional. I used Tofutti brand.)
- In a medium to large pot, saute onions and carrots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When onions are just becoming caramelized and fragrant, add potatoes and 4 cups of water to your pot and bring to a slow boil. Simmer covered for about 10 minutes.
- Add beets, cabbage, meatless crumbles, and seasonings to your pot. Pour in remaining 3 to 4 cups of water, depending on how watery you like your soup. Allow borscht to simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until cabbage is tender to your liking. Salt to taste.
- Serve hot with vegan sour cream. Serves approximately five, with about 2 tablespoons of vegan sour cream per bowl.