Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Borscht Soup

My love affair with soup continues! It's such a comfort food for the breezy autumn days we've been having. When I've been making soups, I've been making enough for a meal and then storing the rest in quart jars in the fridge for a meal later in the week. I was really glad to have this borscht on hand when guests dropped by unannounced this past week-end. I love it when friends are comfortable enough to 'impose' upon your hospitality and to stop by to visit and stay for supper, even when not officially invited. Of course, our friends know that they are always welcome, so unofficially there is always an invite! To me, that's what hospitality is all about.

Although borscht is a favorite family food, this specific recipe was new to me and a definite keeper! It was fast and simple! Once done, though, I realized it was missing a trademark borscht ingredient: beet leaves! I didn't have any on hand, but had intended to add some fresh kale from my garden instead. I'll add it to the notes on my recipe card and add it in next time. I garnished the borscht with some vegan sour cream and a sprig of cilantro. Here's the recipe:

Borscht Soup

10 cups water
6 cups cabbage, chopped
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
1 medium beet, grated*
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. parsley, dried
1/2 tsp. dill, dried
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups beans, cooked**
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 - 2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sugar, optional

Place water and vegetables into a large kettle and simmer until soft and tender. Then add ketchup, olive oil, seasonings, and beans. Adjust seasoning to your personal taste. This soup is great the day you make it and even better the next!

*I don't keep raw beets on hand, so used a can of sliced beets instead. I diced them up into pieces before adding to the soup.

**You can use any type you'd like. I used pinto beans.

***If you decide to add beet tops or kale, add it at the very end of the cooking process and cook only until completely wilted.

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