I am happy to share my version of amazing beet soup that many call borscht. OK, I better be honest here – it’s my mom’s recipe. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than thousands of recipe variations of this soup. Many Eastern European families cook this soup in their own unique way. Some use beans, celery, chicken or beef and some omit the key ingredients such as cabbage and tomatoes. I always follow the recipe I am about to share with you, and only once in a while add white beans for a change.
I recommend cooking a vegetarian version of borscht. This soup is very flavorful without any meat, so save your beef for the next recipe. About 4 months ago my husband and I decided to reduce meat consumption in order to save some animals. We are trying to stay vegetarian throughout the week and have some meat on weekends. It doesn’t always turn out this way, but we are trying. 🙂
You will notice in the recipe that I add a little sugar to the borscht. Feel free to customize it to your liking or skip the sugar altogether. Some people like a touch of sugar to emphasize the sweetness of the beets, and I am one of those people. Serve it with a spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle fresh dill or parsley. This soup makes a great lunch and stays in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 3 potatoes meduim sized, cubed
- 2 carrots medium sized, cubed
- 15 black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion medium sized, chopped
- 1 carrot medium sized, shredded
- 1 bell pepper medium sized, chopped
- 2 beets medium sized, sheredded
- 2 tomatoes medium sized, chopped
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 3 cups thinly cut cabbage
- 2 tsp salt may need to adjust to taste
- 1 tsp sugar may need to adjust to taste (optional)
- sour cream to serve
- chopped parsley or dill to garnish
- Place cubed potatoes and carrots in a large 5-quart pot. Then, fill the pot with clean water, leaving just about 1 inch of space at the top. Add peppercorns and bay leaves and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Meanwhile, heat up a large frying pan with olive oil on medium high heat. Add onions and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Add carrots and bell pepper and saute for another 3-4 minutes. After that, add beets, tomatoes and ketchup. Cook for 5 more minutes and then turn off the heat.
- At this point, our soup should be boiling and the vegetables should be cooked half-way through. I would recommend removing the peppercorns and bay leaves with a slotted spoon.
- Add cabbage and the beet mixture into the boiling soup. Reduce the heat to low, add salt and sugar, and cover the pot with lid and cook for 15 more minutes.
- Serve with sour cream and fresh herbs.