Author Notes: Borscht is so versatile; there are hundreds of variations, meat-based, vegetarian, hot or cold. I needed to start using up some of the garden harvest and was inspired to make this version after reading a friend’s recipe.
Comforting and nutritious, this recipe is packed with root vegetables = beets, parsnips, carrots, leeks and potatoes. It’s perfect to make on a cold day, just sit back and enjoy the aroma that will fill your kitchen as it simmers.
This garden goodness is delicious, definitely potluck, starter or side dish worthy, serve with my parsnip bread (here on Food52) and a glass of wine. Eat, Drink & be Merry!
Serves: a crowd
1/4 cup olive oil
2 sliced leeks
3 large carrots, 3 celery stalks with leaves and 2 medium parsnips – diced
Garlic, smashed and chopped
1 cooked beet – grated AND 2 large cooked beets – sliced then quartered
6 cups vegetable stock; add a little more if you need it.
2 bay leaves
1 small head cabbage, shredded
2 medium tomatoes – diced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt and pink peppercorn – a couple grinds
1/4 cup raw rice, brown or white
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
Greek yogurt or sour cream
- In a heavy bottom 6-8 qt. stock pot, heat olive oil until the first wisp of smoke rises.
- Add leeks, carrots, parsnips and celery to the stock pot; toss and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add garlic and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer the sautéed vegetables over to a bowl.
- Increase the pan heat and deglaze the bottom with 1 cup of the vegetable stock.
- Transfer the vegetables back to the stock pot. Add the grated beet, stir to incorporate.
- Add remaining vegetable stock, bay leaves, cabbage, quartered beets and tomatoes; stir to combine.
- Then add in red wine vinegar, honey, salt and pink peppercorn.
- Bring soup to a strong simmer and then lower to a slow simmer – cover.
- Simmer for 1 hour. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Add rice, stir, add the potatoes and cook until they are done.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.