When the colder temperatures hit this month, all I wanted to eat for dinner was a big bowl of comforting soup with fresh bread.
Since I had a huge head of green cabbage sitting in my fridge and local beets are in season, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at a soup I've always wanted to make - borscht!
Rather than sticking with a traditional borscht, I made more of a vegetable stew with beets, potatoes, carrot, cabbage, and cauliflower. And since I was using a vegetable broth instead of beef broth, I tried to make it extra flavourful by cooking some onion, garlic and ginger first, and adding lots of spices and herbs like caraway, cumin, coriander, thyme, and bay leaves.
A bit of plain yogurt or sour cream works perfectly as a topping for this soup, and if I had some fresh dill, I would have added that as a garnish as well.
For a healthy broth-based vegetable soup, I thought this was actually really tasty and I didn't mind eating it for both lunch and dinner several days in a row, since it made such a big batch! Plus, how can you not enjoy eating something with such a pretty colour!
Adapted from Canadian Living
1 tbsp oil or butter (I used Earth Balance coconut spread)
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1” piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 small yellow potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1.5 lbs beets (I used three large ones), stems removed, peeled and diced
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
5 cups shredded green cabbage
1.5 tsp salt
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (1 container)
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp agave nectar
3 tbsp white vinegar
Plain yogurt or sour cream for serving (optional)
Fresh dill for serving (optional)
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the oil or butter. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, caraway, cumin, coriander, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes (until the onion begins to soften).
Add the potatoes, carrot, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, salt, and some freshly ground pepper to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Then add the vegetable stock, water, and bay leaves and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, partially cover with a lid, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
Remove pot from heat. Discard the bay leaves and stir in the agave and vinegar. Serve hot, topped with plain yogurt and a handful of chopped fresh dill if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Makes 6-8 servings