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Vegetarian Borscht

Borscht is a soup that was first made in Eastern Europe hundreds of years ago. This variation includes beets with cabbage, beans and other vegetables.
Bowls of vibrant red beet and vegetable soup with a dollop of sour cream and parsley.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Makes: 12 cups
Nutrition Facts: View label

Ingredients

1 Tablespoons vegetable oil  
2 cups diced beets (2 to 3 small to medium) 
¼ cup diced celery 
¼ cup diced carrot 
1 cup diced bell pepper (any type) 
2 Tablespoons tomato paste 
1 Tablespoons vinegar (try distilled white) 
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes, diced 
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 
1 medium yellow potato, diced (about 1 ¼ cups) 
1 can (15 ounces) white beans (drained and rinsed) 
1 cup finely shredded cabbage (green or red) 
1 bay leaf 
2 cloves garlic, minced or ½ teaspoon garlic powder 
1 Tablespoon sugar 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper 
¾ cup low-fat plain yogurt or sour cream (optional) 
¼ cup chopped fresh dill or parsley (optional)

Directions

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. 
  3. Add beets, celery, carrot and bell pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. 
  4. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, tomatoes, broth, potato, white beans, cabbage, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper.
  6. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Reduce heat to low.
  7. Cover the pot and simmer until beets and potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.
  8. Serve bowls topped with 1 Tablespoon yogurt and 1 teaspoon herbs, if desired.
  9. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes

  • Try adding other vegetables and seasonings you like.
  • For a smoother borscht, purée some or all of the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender. (If using a blender, follow manufacturer’s directions for puréeing hot liquids.)
  • To make in a slow cooker, omit oil and reduce broth to 4 cups. Put all ingredients except yogurt and dill in the cooker. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or until potatoes are soft.
  • Scoop tablespoons of extra tomato paste on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Store in a labeled freezer container to use in another recipe.

Comments

I made this Vegetarian Borscht for an Older Adult tasting event and it was very well received. It did take me longer than the 15 minutes noted to prepare, but it was definitely worth it. The extra prep time comes along with dicing fresh beets and carrots, plus mincing garlic cloves (as opposed to using the powder variety), but we all like that best. We topped the Borscht with sour cream and fresh dill as suggested and were not disappointed. I had a little left over from the event and a friend who had never tried Beet Soup liked it as well :)

I made this Vegetarian Borscht recipe in our slow cooker on a cold winter day. Luckily I had beets and bell pepper in the freezer; other ingredients were in the fridge or pantry. The soup was delicious just as written and made for a cozy meal. We enjoyed with crusty bread and a dish of canned pears. The leftovers were excellent the next day reheated in the microwave.

I made this recipe for my extended family over the holidays, and everyone loved it! The optional ingredients paired well with the depth of flavor of the beets and other vegetables in the soup. I highly recommend taking the time to make this recipe.

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