• Borscht Revisited!

    by Ellen on February 10, 2009 · 1 comment


    If I knew how good homemade borscht tasted when I was but a wee child, I never would’ve turned my nose up at it. This soup is really delicious, and couldn’t be more satisfying on a cold winter day. And easy peasy. Chop chop, you’re done.

    The recipe for the Hot Beet and Potato Borscht that you see in the picture above comes from a cookbook by Nava Atlas originally called Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. It has been republished with a new title: Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons and promises to be a great addition to your cookbook library, regardless of whether you are vegan or vegetarian. The recipes represent a broad spectrum of cultures from African-Inspired Quinoa-Peanut Soup to Asian Noodle Soup with a Myriad of Mushrooms to Cool Curried Zucchini and Carrot Soup to New England Clam-less Chowder, not to mention a chapter that includes a varied selection of quick breads, muffins, and scones to accompany your soup or stew. Oh, and there’s a whole chapter on cold soups, perfect for summer (for example Fresh Tomato Soup with Sweet Corn Sauce – yum!).

    By the way, Nava Atlas has another cookbook that sounds (and I’ve read great reviews) fabulous called Vegan Express. Check that one out too! I don’t own it but based on my review of her soup cookbook, you can be sure I plan to order my own copy.

    I will include two versions of the recipe: the original recipe as it appears in Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons and my tweaked version of the soup (which I made in a pressure cooker).

    As it appears in the cookbook:

    Hot Beet and Potato Borscht
    6 to 8 servings

    Though beet borscht is generally eaten cold, the addition of potatoes creates a more robust version for fall or winter. Unless you are fond of hand grating, using a food processor makes the job much easier.

    1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 large onions, chopped
    3 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
    4 medium beets, peeled and grated
    1 large carrot, peeled and grated
    1 cup fresh orange juice
    Juice of 1 lemon
    2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
    2 to 3 tablespoons natural granulated sugar, more or less to taste
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Vegan Sour Cream, optional (recipe follows)

    Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden. Add all the remaining ingredients except the sugar, salt and pepper, and optional sour cream.

    Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.

    Adjust the consistency with more water if the soup is too dense. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper, then simmer for 5 minutes longer.

    If time allows, let the soup stand for an hour or two. Heat through as needed before serving. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

    Vegan Sour Cream
    Makes a little more than 1 cup, about 8 servings

    1 cup crumbled firm or extra-firm silken tofu
    2 to 3 tablespoons rice milk or Silk creamer, as needed
    2 teaspoons lemon juice, or more to taste
    1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

    Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or the companion container to an immersion blender. Process until very smoothly pureed, then transfer to a container with an airtight lid. This keeps well for 3 to 4 days, refrigerated.

    My tweaked version of the recipe, made in a pressure cooker:

    Hot Beet and Potato Borscht
    6 to 8 servings

    Though beet borscht is generally eaten cold, the addition of potatoes creates a more robust version for fall or winter. Unless you are fond of hand grating, using a food processor makes the job much easier.

    1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 large onions, chopped
    4 cups of boiling water
    3 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
    4 medium beets, peeled and grated
    1 large carrot, peeled and grated
    1/2 small green cabbage, chopped small
    Juice of 1 lemon
    2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
    2 to 3 tablespoons natural granulated sugar, more or less to taste
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Vegan Sour Cream, optional (recipe follows)

    Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until just golden. Add the boiling water (stand back to avoid sputtering water) and all the remaining ingredients except the lemon juice, dill, sugar, salt and pepper, and optional sour cream. The water should just cover the vegetables.

    Put the cover on the pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure and then maintain high pressure for 6 minutes. Immediately bring to the sink and quick release the pressure by running cold water over the cover. Carefully remove the cover (away from your face). If vegetables aren’t soft enough, simmer for a few minutes until they reach desired consistency.

    Add the lemon juice, dill, sugar, salt and pepper.

    Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

    Vegan Sour Cream
    Makes a little more than 1 cup, about 8 servings

    1 cup crumbled firm or extra-firm silken tofu
    2 to 3 tablespoons rice milk or Silk creamer, as needed
    2 teaspoons lemon juice, or more to taste
    1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

    Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or the companion container to an immersion blender. Process until very smoothly pureed, then transfer to a container with an airtight lid. This keeps well for 3 to 4 days, refrigerated.

    What kind of soup do you like to eat in the winter??? Inquiring minds want to know!

    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    Alisa February 10, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I haven’t had borscht since I was in eastern Europe (many, many moons ago). That sounds great!

    I have a soup recipe going up on One Frugal Foodie tomorrow that I think you will like :)

    We have already made it twice this week, simple and creamy!

    Reply

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