With cooler weather and shorter days the desire for warm and cozy meals increases. From Grandma’s apple pie to mashed potatoes, comfort food takes many forms. To me, no food soothes the soul more than a Ukrainian meal served with family gathered at the table. As a kid growing up on the prairies, perogies, cabbage rolls, sausage and borscht were part of every special occasion meal. Of these lovingly homemade delicacies, borscht was most likely to show up outside of special celebrations. It was abundant in September with the beet harvest and also served randomly at other points in the year when Mom would thaw a batch she had tucked away in the freezer.
With a hearty beet harvest from the garden this year, a big batch of borscht was in order today!
Beet Borscht Makes 8 servings
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 cups red or green cabbage, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large potato, chopped
- 8 small beets, peeled and chopped or grated
- ½ cup chopped green beans or snap peas, optional
- 6 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 can (796 mL) diced tomatoes
- 3 cups water
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- ½ cup light sour cream, optional
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery, carrots, cabbage and salt and sauté for an additional 8-10 minutes.
- Add potato, beets and green beans or peas, if using. Pour in stock, tomatoes and water.
- Add vinegar to give tartness and keep the colour of the beets.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Serve garnished with a little sour cream and fresh dill, if desired. Extra soup freezes well.
Za zdorovie! (Cheers!)