Today’s recipe is a special one: Russian borscht (pronounced “borsh”). For those of you who are unfamiliar with Borscht, you are in for a treat! Borscht is a hearty vegetable stew that originated in Eastern Europe and is comprised primarily of cabbage, beets and potatoes. Most of the vegetables in this stew are harvested in fall and winter, which make it a great meal for those cool-weather days.
A deep ruby color, this stew is jam-packed with flavor and nutrients. During the colder months, I take this to potlucks and it is always devoured. A friend of mine who grew up eating traditional Borscht in her Eastern European immigrant family told me this was one of the best Borscht recipes she had ever tasted! (Say, what?!) True or not, this is a recipe that you should definitely try. And maybe double it because you will want to lap up every last morsel. Bon appétit!
- 1½ cups potato, thinly sliced*
- 1 cup beets, peeled and thinly sliced*
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
- 1½ cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups red cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium-sized tomato, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon fresh dill weed**
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar or 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegan sour cream and fresh dill to garnish
* To keep things easy, I use my food processor with the slicing blade attachment. You can also use a mandolin or slice by hand, but be sure to slice thinly.
** If you cannot find fresh dill weed in the store, it is okay to use dried dill. Also, feel free to add more than the ½ teaspoon if you really enjoy that dill flavor (like me!).
- Place potatoes, beets and broth in a large pan over high heat. Bring to boil and reduce to medium heat. Cook until vegetables are soft, but not falling apart. Remove potatoes and beets with a spider strainer or slotted spoon, set aside. Set broth aside.
- Heat Earth Balance in pot over medium heat. Add onion, fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook until onions are translucent. Add celery, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes. Saute until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add broth, beets and potatoes back to pot. Add tomato paste, dill weed, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper. Once brought to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- The final result should be thick and stew-like. Serve hot garnished with vegan sour cream and fresh dill with some crusty multigrain or rye bread on the side. Enjoy!
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