Layers of flavour make this vegan borscht an autumn delight.
On a vegetable broth base, we add roasted beets, caramelized carrots and onions, creamy potatoes, hearty cabbage, and beans. It takes some time to bring together, but the flavour is worth the time.
In this recipe I use yellow fingerling potatoes; however, good old Yukon Gold will work just fine. Borscht also doesn't usually contain cannellini beans, but because this is the vegan version they are added for extra protein.
If preparing this soup vegan is not an important factor, the vegetable broth can be swapped with the more traditional beef broth, or chicken.
(Makes 8 servings)
4 large beets, peeled and grated
10 cups vegetable broth
1lb yellow fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 large carrots, peeled and grated
2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (796ml) diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 can (540ml) white cannellini beans, drained
fresh dill, chopped (optional)
dairy-free sour cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Wash the beets well and remove any stems or roots. Wrap the beets in a sheet of foil and roast until tender (60 to 90 minutes or more depending on size of beets). As the beets roast, continue with the rest of the recipe.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, bring the vegetable stock to a boil and add the potatoes, cabbage, chopped carrot, and bay leaves. Once it returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the shredded carrots, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, and reduce the heat to medium. Sauté until the carrots caramelize (about 15 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside. In the same pan, add the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and increase the heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and sprinkle with the remaining sea salt. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté until the onion becomes caramelized (about 15 minutes). Reintroduce the shredded carrot and mix well. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute then add the tomato paste. Mix well then add the diced tomatoes. Combine well and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half (about 20 minutes).
When the beets are roasted, remove them from the oven and let cool until they can be handled. Rinse off the skins under cold water, pat dry, then shred the beets. Set aside.
Add the drained cannellini beans to the Dutch oven and stir well. Once the carrot and onion mixture is ready, add to the Dutch oven and stir well. Add the shredded beets and stir well. Increase the heat to medium-high an bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Allow to simmer until the cabbage is thoroughly soft (about 1 hour). Add water or additional vegetable stock as needed.
Serve with fresh dill and dairy-free sour cream (optional).
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 258 | total fat = 7.21g | saturated fat = 1.02g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 1,006.75mg | net carbohydrates = 35.06g | dietary fibre = 7.75g | sugars = 12.02g | protein = 6.38g