A Vegetarian Borscht

This Russian-Eurasian soup is loved by many. The dish is incredibly popular and it has taken on many forms across the slavic countries. Some people eat it hot and others eat it cold. Our recipe is a modern take on the dish. This vegetarian borscht is meant to be served hot. The recipe makes about 4-5 servings and it takes about 90 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 beets
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 large potato
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 ½ vegetable bouillon cubes
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of whole peppercorns
  • ½ tablespoon of coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 ½  tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 60 grams of fresh dill
  • Full-fat sour cream (optional for serving)

Special tools

  • Grater
  • Disposable gloves
  • Cheesecloth or an empty tea bag 

Instructions

  1. Put the cloves of garlic, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and bay leaves in an empty tea bag, or tie them as a bundle in cheesecloth. Put the bundle aside for later.
  1. Dice the onions and the celery stalks. Peel and shred the parsnips, carrots, and beets into thin strips. Cut the cabbage into thin strips as well. Peel the potato and cut it into cubes. Dice the tomato as well. (Note: Wear the gloves when handling the beets, as the beets will stain your hands.)
  1. Once the vegetables are prepared, you can begin preparing the soup. Grab a large pot and put it on the stove. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onions and celery stalk. Bake at low to medium heat until the onions are glassy.
  1. Add the tomato paste to the pot and keep stirring until the paste has turned a deep red color.
  1. Add the vegetable bouillon, the package/ bundle of garlic and herbs, 1 teaspoon of sugar and about 750 milliliters of water (about a cup). Stir well. And let that simmer for 5-10 minutes or so.
  1. Add the potato to the pot and let it simmer until the potato has softened. (Note: you know the potato is softened when you can pierce through it with a fork.)
  1. Once the potato has softened, add the shredded parsnip, beets, cabbage, carrots, and apple cider vinegar. 
  1. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Stir the vegetables in well, and then put the lid on the pot. Let the soup simmer away for about 15 minutes or so. This will deepen the colour.
  1. As the soup is simmering, prepare the fresh dill by shredding it up with a knife.
  1. Once the soup has reached a nice red/pink colour, turn off the heat, remove the bundle of herbs, and stir in the dill. Put a lid on the pot and wait for 3-5 minutes.
  1. Add salt and pepper to taste and your vegetarian borscht is ready to serve! Tip: serve with a dollop of full fat sour cream and an extra sprinkle of dill.

приятного аппетита! (priyatnogo appetita)

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