What's the perfect fall and winter soup to enjoy once the temperature outside takes a dip? Beet soup, or Russian borscht! This is a wonderfully healthy and vegetable-rich version of this classic soup. Not only will it make your home smell wonderful, it's a delicious light lunch or great side to a main dish for dinner. This soup is even better on the second day after flavors have had a chance to blend. It's a wonderful addition to an autumn or winter meal. Enjoy! This recipe makes at least 6-8 servings.
1 large beet
2 medium carrots
2 medium potatoes
1 red pepper
1/3 to 1/2 a head of green or purple cabbage, finely chopped (or use homemade sauerkraut)
3-4 medium tomatoes, pureed or blended (or one can of tomatoes)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered cumin
1/4 teaspoon powdered coriander
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (particularly in cold weather)
Pinch of asafetida (optional, leave out to stay gluten-free)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Cilantro and dill
1 tablespoon brown sugar or 3-4 prunes, chopped
Peel the potatoes, beet and carrot. Cut the potato into small cubes, and grate the carrots and beet. Cut the red pepper into small pieces as well.
In a large pot, heat several tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil. Add the ginger, asafetida, cumin and coriander, fry for one minute. Add the bay leaves and potatoes, sauté for several minutes, then add the carrots, beets and peppers. Add the tomato paste and continue to sauté for at least five minutes, then add the cabbage. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables, then add the tomato sauce. Mix well, fry another 3-5 minutes, then pour a teapot full of boiled water over the whole mixture slowly, until it reaches a soupy yet fairly thick consistency. Add the prunes. Boil on a low heat for at least 45 minutes. Add the brown sugar, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. Stir thoroughly; allow to sit at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired, remove bay leaves. Serve with fresh chopped herbs (we like the traditional dill and have also discovered that cilantro goes well!).
Sauces and Soups