Packed with root vegetables, borscht is a classic seasonal dish eaten during the colder months in various parts of Eastern Europe, including my home country of Ukraine. This bright magenta soup gets its color from beets. The anthocyanins and betalains in beets are responsible for their scarlet hue, and are also immune-supporting antioxidants. Interestingly, beets contain natural nitrates, which can help increase blood flow to muscles for athletes and also help with lowering blood pressure. Beets are also high in vitamins A, C and the minerals iron and magnesium. Looking at the amazing nutrients in this traditional soup, plus the tasty additions of fresh dill, parsley and sour cream, it’s no wonder it serves as a staple. After eating a bowl of borscht, you’ll feel incredibly rejuvenated - this is a soup you can’t go without.
The world’s most rejuvenating soup.
Makes: 8-10 servings
- 8 C water
- 4 C low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large or 4 small beets, washed and chopped
- 1 large potato, washed and chopped
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 small head of cabbage, washed and cut into thin, 2-inch long strips
- 2 tomatoes, washed and finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- Optional for serving: Organic sour cream or plain yogurt
- Optional for serving: Dark rye bread
- Bring to a boil water and vegetable broth over high heat in a large, gallon-sized pot.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Saute beets, potato, carrots and onion for 10 min in olive oil.
- When liquid boils, add sauteed root vegetables, cabbage, and tomatoes to the pot.
- Add salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Allow liquid to return to a boil and then reduce the temperature to low. Simmer the borscht for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the beets and potatoes are soft (easily pierced with a fork).
- Cut up 1 bunch of fresh parsley and 1 bunch of fresh dill and add to hot borscht.
- Optional: Turn off heat and allow soup to sit for 1 hour, or let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. This allows the flavors to meld, but the borscht can be eaten immediately after cooking. It tastes even more amazing the next day!
- Remove bay leaves and eat the borscht warm with a dollop of organic sour cream or plain yogurt and dark rye bread. Enjoy!