It’s borscht! Hot pink, vegan, and way tastier than you remember. Trust me.
Dudes, beet soup is so good. You’re going to have to trust me on this. I know, I know, it just sounds so unappealing, and many people think the purple-pink vegetable tastes like dirt. But I’ve always been a fan of it and its neon color. Surely there’s a way to bring everyone over to the
dark bright side, right?
A bit o history on our friend borscht. In old school Ukraine, beets were cheap and plentiful. So they were perfect with onions, carrots and vinegar, cooked down into a red soup and topped with sour cream. Variations included adding potatoes, cabbage, sugar and brisket (yessss).
You can buy borscht in a jar, but that stuff’s garbage. Make you own! It’s healthy, vegan, tasty, and neon. All my favorite things!
I went a little untraditional with my borscht. There are about as many ways to make it as there are consonants in the word. As in, a lot. You can go hot or cold. You can add meat, or not. Sweeten it up, or make it tart. (Hehe, tart.)
Since it’s January, and even freezing in Austin (what isss this), this version is hot. But as I discovered as the soup cooled during its photography session, it even tastes good cold. Score!
I went vegan (with this soup, not in real life. Like I said, brisket!!), with coconut milk as a thickener. That way you can pair it with a pastrami sandwich for the ultimate warming lunch. And I like to let the beets shine, along with mild leeks and a hint of honey for sweetness.
This certainly isn’t your Bubbe’s soup. It’s even brighter than the traditional version, puréed with a sweet swirl of coconut milk and topped with pickled red onions.
- For borscht:
- 3 large beets, washed, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet potato (I used a purple sweet potato), washed, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 medium carrots, washed, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
- 2 medium leeks, washed week and cut into slices
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ cup coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dill for garnish
- For quick-pickled red onions:
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 medium red onion, cut into slices
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Put beets on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast for about 30 minutes. Then add sweet potatoes and carrots and roast for 30 more minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.
- Meanwhile, make pickled onions by whisking together salt, sugar and vinegar in a medium bowl. Then add onion slices and mix together. Let onions sit for 1 hour.
- When vegetables are cooked, take a few pieces of cooked beets and small dice. Set aside for garnish.
- In a large stockpot, heat 1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add leek slices and sauté until soft and slightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
- Then add beets, sweet potato, carrots, water, apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, and puree with a an immersion blender or in a food processor. Return to the stockpot if you used a food processor. Temper hot borscht with coconut milk by adding a ¼ cup of the borscht into the coconut milk a little at a time to bring it to temperature. Then whisk in the coconut milk and season borscht with salt and pepper to taste. Top portions of borscht with beets, pickled onions and dill.