The classic Slavic winter soup—delicious, hearty, and colorful. Nearly all borscht served in Russia has beef and makes a meal, but typically in western countries, we make a vegetarian version and serve before the main dish. I’m sharing the vegetarian version here. If you wish to include beef, slice 1 pound grass-fed beef chuck into bite-sized piece, saute with 1 tablespoon of ghee until lightly browned in a skillet, set aside, then add beef to the soup when you add the potatoes and cabbage.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Simmering Time: 30 minutes
4 medium beets
2 Tbsp Avocado oil
1 medium white onion, diced
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp dried dill
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 medium carrots, ¾-inch cubed
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
2 cups purple potatoes (or baby red-skinned potatoes), cut into bite-sized portions
2 cups red cabbage, coarsely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, diced
2 cups tomatoes, chopped (or 15 ounces canned, chopped tomatoes)
6 cups low-sodium organic vegetable or beef broth
Optional: 1/2 cup organic low-fat sour cream (or organic plain low-fat yogurt)
¼ cup chives, diced
Rinse beets and trim off the roots and tops, peel away the thick or unsightly skin.
Heat a large saucepan to medium-high heat, add oil, then add onion to the pan and sauté with salt, pepper, dill, caraway seeds for 2-3 minutes, until slightly yellow to golden. Meanwhile, cut two beets into ¾-inch cubes; grate the other two beets. Add beets to the pan. Next add carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage, garlic, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve in individual bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and chives.
Steven Masley, MD