If you love you’re a fan of beets, it’s a safe bet that you’ll dig this soup. Warming and nourishing, Borscht is full of flavor and nutrients! Packed with vegetables — beets, red cabbage, carrot and tomatoes — the soup itself is vegetarian and is served with a dollop of horseradish spiced yoghurt. Of course, feel free to skip it or sub vegan yoghurt for a 100% plant-based meal. I find the little extra richness to be a great addition.
Borscht: a classic beet soup
In Russian it’s called Borscht, is. In Poland, it’s barszcz, and Lithuania they call it barščiai. There are countless versions — with or without meat, some with potatoes or beans. Every family has their own favourite version of this traditional beetroot soup. One thing is for certain, you can expect a light and still hearty soup that tastes even better as leftovers. The beets infuse a sweet, earthy flavor, and the soup gets finished with fresh dill and apple cider vinegar for a little zing. Topped with creamy yoghurt this is a terrific soup for serving with some crusty bread for dipping. Pure comfort food heaven.
My vegetarian borscht is made with not only beets, but also cabbage, carrots and fresh tomatoes — plus beet greens! I like to pick up my beets by the bunch at the market with the greens intact. They are terrific used like Swiss chard or spinach. Which means also a great addition to soups like this. Otherwise, save the greens. Braised beet greens or stir-fried beet greens are also delicious.
Love beets? How about trying one of these delicious recipes:
- Beetroot Curry with Coconut Milk & Spinach
- Beetroot and Orange Salad with Fresh Herbs
- Coconut Ginger Beet Soup
Vegetarian Borscht (Beet Soup)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 small yellow onions, finely chopped (300 g)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp soft brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 bunches beets (6 medium/900 g), cut in 1cm pieces
- fresh beet greens, stems removed and chopped (optional)
- 1 medium carrots, finely diced
- ½ red cabbage, shredded (300 g)
- 6 medium tomatoes, chopped (700 g)
- 6-8 cups of water, vegetable or chicken broth
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
- handful fresh dill, finely chopped
- 100 ml Greek or natural yoghurt
- fresh or creamed horseradish, to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium, sauté the onion and garlic over until tender, 8-10 minutes.
- Add bay leaves, allspice (Piment), sugar and cubed beets and continue to sauté, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the carrot, cabbage, tomatoes, and the water or broth. Bring to a light boil and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender; about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Add the vinegar and season with more salt and pepper, to taste. If you are using fresh beet greens, add them to the soup and cook a further couple minutes, until wilted.
- Stir in half of the fresh dill and then serve into bowls. Garnish with a dollop of yoghurt mixed with horseradish to your taste. Top with the remaining dill. Enjoy!
- This beet soup is vegan by nature. To garnish the borscht choose a vegan yoghurt or sour cream equivalent.
- In the winter months, canned tomatoes can be used instead of fresh. Use 2 x 400 g cans of organic chopped tomatoes.
- Feel free to serve this soup with sour cream or creme fraîche instead of yoghurt.
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