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Recipe Difficulty: Easy, but requires some prep. (It's worth it)
This delicious vibrant soup is inspired by Borscht, but I made it without any intention of trying to be authentic. I just wanted to create something delicious and full of good for you ingredients. I love that this recipe is made using whole foods (except a bit of olive oil). The result is a meal that is humble, but it's so good I would serve it to anyone. (as long as they like beets, and dill!) With that being said I didn't have some Ukranian folks comment that it was like the Borscht they have had so I like to read up on what is authentic. Mine technically is pretty similar I think.
Borscht has a long and rich history dating back to at least the 16th century. It is thought to have originated in Ukraine, where it was made with fermented beet broth. Over time, the recipe for borscht has evolved and today it can be made with either fresh or fermented beets. Other ingredients often include potatoes, carrots, onions, beans, and a variety of meats such as beef or pork. It can be made vegan or vegetarian by omitting the meat and using vegetable broth instead. The soup is typically served with a dollop of sour cream and or a slice of rye bread on top. (I use cashew cream in my recipe to add some richness that meat would otherwise give).
Borscht became popular in other Eastern European countries, such as Russia, Poland, and Belarus, and it is now a staple in their cuisines. It is often served as a hearty and flavourful soup during the colder months, and it is also a popular dish at festive occasions such as holidays and weddings.
My Soup Recipe Notes:
This soup has beets, red cabbage, potato, carrot, white beans, homemade veg stock, onion, garlic, cashew cream, fresh dill, apple cider vinegar and a few ingredients to give it a bit of complexity. Marmite is something I like to add, as well as a bit of Braggs or soy sauce. It doesn't take a lot.
The flavour of this soup is sweet, in a lovely way, from the beets, and it has the perfect amount of acidity from the apple cider vinegar. The cashew cream brings balance to the sweet/tart and of course, creaminess. You have to plan ahead a bit when making cashew cream, the raw cashews need several hours to soak. With olive oil grilled multigrain bread for dunking alongside, I find this whole situation to be irresistibly good.
This soup makes a big batch...probably about double the amount of many of the other soups I have on my blog. I use my big stock pot to make it. If you wanted a smaller batch go ahead and halve the recipe. It isn't one I have tried to freeze...I don't find potatoes freeze the best...but perhaps I will try that sometime.
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