Vegan Ukrainian borscht

 
img_8855.jpg

I grew up eating borscht. My mom often made it for my family. My grandmother is a true master of this delicious beet soup.

I like that this soup inspires me to connect to the local farmers, and eat these stored root vegetables, as opposed to buy veggies at a store without knowing where those have been grown... I like my local community :)

I make borscht the way my mom makes it only without beef ;). I also add ginger for extra flavor. This vegan version of borscht doesn't lack the taste at all, in my humble opinion. In fact, the flavor of veggies is more present which is very nice. And, of course the secret is to have it the day after - that is when all the flavors get to really open up.

Let get down to making the soup.

Serves 4-6 people.

Time: 1-2.5 hours (depending on beans used)

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 medium/small beets
  • 1 medium/small carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • small piece of ginger (enough to get 1 tbsp. grated)
  • 1/2 medium cabbage
  • 1/3 cup of dry beans (presoaked over night or at least 4-6 hours) of preferably white color: lima, cranberry, navy, pino variety or 1 cup of beans from a can - to save cooking time
  • salt to taste
  • 10 cups of filtered water (or veggie broth) - add more liquid later if desired
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. of tomato paste
  • vegan sour cream for decoration (optional)
  • pinch of parsley for decoration (optional)

Beging by starting cooking presoaked beans with little bit of salt in the water on a medium/low heat. Beans take a while as we know. So get it out of the way first - about 1 hours. If using beans from a can skip this step.

Peel potatoes, carrot and beets. Chop potatoes in small wedges. Chop onion, grate carrot, beets and ginger. Set aside.

Cut cabbage in thin strips. And set aside.

img_8854.jpg
img_8856.jpg

When beans are half way cooked, add potatoes. Add more water if a lot of it got evaporated.

In a meantime, heat vegetable oil in a pan, add onions, cook for 2 minutes. Now add tomato paste with little bit of water to make it more thin. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add shredded carrots, beets and ginger. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Now add the beet mixture to the broth. Let it cook all together. *This is when you would add drained canned beans if using.* Taste it and see if the broth needs more salt.

At the very end, when all veggies are nearly cooked add cabbage, cook for 10 min or so. Pick up a few pieces of potato, mash them in a bowl, then return to the pot - it would add a nice thickness to the broth. Turn off the heat, and let is sit for 10-15 minutes.

Serve with a spoon of vegan sour cream and parsley. Enjoy!