October 6, 2011

Vegetarian Borscht

Beets were initially domesticated along the Mediterranean for their edible leaves and later for their sweet colorful roots. Though borscht may be served hot or cold, spelled any number of ways and made with a great variety of ingredients, the essential ingredient of borscht is beet. Borscht originated in Eastern Europe, likely in the Ukraine where the greatest number of variations on the soup are found and was predominately a peasant dish as beets were inexpensive. Eastern European and Middle Eastern immigrants introduced borscht into American cuisine and it continues to be a commonly served soup. Borscht is delicious served with a leek galette and arugula salad.

4 medium beets

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 stalks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped

1 medium onion, trimmed and roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 sprig rosemary

1 sprig parsley

1 sprig oregano

3 tbsp butter

3-4 c water

salt and pepper

sour cream


1. In a large pot and steamer basket, steam beets until tender, 30-45 minutes. Peel beets while still warm and roughly chop. Set beets aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottomed pot, heat butter over medium low heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrot and herbs. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes.

3. Once vegetables are tender, add steamed beets and 3 c water. Return to a simmer, remove from heat and cool slightly. Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, purée ingredients until smooth, adding additional water as desired.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add sour cream and fresh parsley as desired. Serve borscht warm, room temperature or chilled.

Serves 3-4


Colleen said...

Thanks for this! I was just trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my beets still in the garden.

Annie said...

Thanks for sharing this special fall recipe. Beets are incomparable.

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