Monday, 21 March 2011


Make you strong like bull!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

My Oma used to make borscht when I was little and it was as comforting for me as chicken soup is for most people (she made that too, btw). Her version had beef, and since the hubby and I can no longer have beef, this is a lighter vegetarian version. It tastes great hot or cold, and I think it's a lovely dish to commemorate the first day of spring.

Borscht (adapted from Dinner With Julie)

olive oil, for cooking
2 onions, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, fine dice
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 leek, diced
1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded
4c vegetable stock
3-4 beets, peeled and roasted
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste

Low fat sour cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 375F.

Peel your beets with a paring knife and wrap each one in tin foil. Put them all on a baking sheet and cook for about 1 hour. Open the little parcels and let them cool so they can be handled later.

(Protip: there are like a zillion ways to roast beets - peeling then roasting is my favourite way)

In a large pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions with some salt for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, leek and cabbage and cook for about 10 minutes, until everything is soft and starting to turn golden.

Add the stock and 2-4 cups of water. Grate the beets using the coarse side of a box grater and add those as well. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and the broth has thickened slightly. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste and serve hot, with a big dollop of sour cream on top.

Take a minute to look at the colour of your soup. There's nothing better than that gorgeous magenta colour.

This is also great served cold as leftovers the next day. Sour cream is a must.

When you eat roasted beets, leave a post-it note on the back of the bathroom door reminding yourself that you did so to avoid some scares the next day.

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