Borscht comes in many varieties and is enjoyed across the globe. Sweet, sour, and earthy, this vegan borsch recipe can be made in under an hour.
Borscht is a sour soup eaten in many places across eastern Europe and Northern Asia, and there is no one traditional recipe. It can be clear or thick, loaded with toppings such as sour cream or boiled potatoes, and often comes with the addition of cabbage and beans – there are even hot borschts and cold borschts. Many versions have a beef broth as the base stock, whereas others are naturally vegetarian. Borscht also comes in a variety of colors: green, white, and red. Read on for a simple vegan borscht recipe using red beets with only 12 ingredients, with some suggestions for toppings and added extras.
Vegan Borscht Recipe
Beets are earthy, yet sweet, and are very high in folic acid, especially when eaten raw. This simple vegan borscht soup really celebrates the beet and can be ready in around 45 minutes. We strongly recommend buying local and organic ingredients, wherever possible. If your beets still have the greens attached, save them for later, or add them to the soup in place of some of the cabbage.
Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream on top and some bread on the side.
- 3 pints of vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 – 4 red beets
- 2 tbsp. neutral oil or vegan butter
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, washed and diced
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- ½ a small green or red cabbage, washed and shredded
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp maple syrup or vegan sugar
- small bunch of fresh dill and/or parsley, washed and chopped
- Pour the broth and the bay leaf into a large pot, cover, and start to heat it up.
- Prepare the beets. Peel and chop them into chunky matchsticks and set them aside. You may want to wear gloves to avoid accidentally dyeing your skin.
- Take a large skillet and fry the onion and the carrots in the oil or butter on low heat for a few minutes.
- Add the beets, stir well and continue to cook until the vegetables just start to soften.
- By now, the stock should be starting to boil. Add the sautéd veggies, the tomato paste, and the shredded cabbage.
- Stir well, turn down the heat, and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
- The cabbage should be fairly tender by now. Turn off the heat and add the garlic, vinegar, and maple syrup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it sit with the lid on for 10 minutes before serving. Ladle into bowls and serve with the dill and parsley, and some vegan sour cream.
As we have stated above, there are a lot of borscht varieties out there. Try using the above recipe as a base and add one (or all) of the following suggestions:
- 2 large potatoes, diced. Add to the hot broth at the same time as the sautéed carrot and beets.
- Add a can of white beans (drained and rinsed) to the pot for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
- You can always add even more vegetables to the mix. Many recipes have celery and leeks, in addition to the carrot and onion that we have here.
- Some people add diced tomatoes to increase the sourness of the soup.
- Instead of bread, you could serve the vegan borscht with some small pierogis or tortellini, to make it even more filling.
- If you have some leftover boiled potatoes, you could either serve them on the side or crumble them on top.
- Many people serve their borscht with a boiled egg. Leftover tofu scramble could work just as well as a plant-based option.
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