Spring Borscht

Spring Borscht

I call this dish a spring borsch because in honour of spring I make it lighter by omitting the traditional stewed beef. Since the beef is omitted, I also skip the tomato paste or tomatoes that go so well with the beef. In addition, I garnish it with totally optional seasonal spring ingredients to enliven the colours – asparagus and peas, in today’s case. Serving to a crowd, I leave these garnishes off the plates, so our guests could add them themselves, if desired.

Besides being such a beautiful and visually stunning dish, I absolutely love this soup for the entertaining purposes as it’s also very affordable and easy to make. I used to think I needed to cook fillet mignons and other fancy things for dinner parties, but can now see that seasonal and humble ingredients such as beets can stand up to just about any luxury ingredients when properly prepared. However, know your audience and, if you are expecting a guest who you know is anti all things veggies, consider doing something else.

There are endless ways of making a borscht. You can roast your beets ahead of time, you can add various assortment of ingredients, and the list just goes on. I feel this preparation results in the best colour and the freshest taste.

CategoryDifficultyBeginner

borsch

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time35 minsTotal Time45 mins

 ½ onion, minced
 oil
 1 carrot, chopped
 1 large potato, parsnip or combinaiton of both, chopped into 1/2" cubes
 2 beets, chopped into 1/2" cubes
 ½ tsp sugar, plus more as needed
 pinch of red pepper flakes
 pinch of kosher salt
 freshly ground pepper
 chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
 splash of lemon juice
 sour cream, for serving, optional
 dill, for serving, optional
 any other garnish ingredients of choice (peas, asparagus, etc.)

1

Saute onion until soft and translucent in a lightly greased pan. Do not brown. Add red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute or so. Add vegetables, stock or water, pinch of salt, sugar and bring to simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes (if you cut your vegetables into matchstick, the time will need to be decreased as they will cook faster.) Cook to your liking. My preference is when vegetables are tender but still have a bite to them.

2

Plate into individual bowls. Squeeze a small amount of lemon into each bowl. The goal is not to make the soup sour, but to just very gently brighten up the flavour. Garnish with sour cream, dill, any other ingredients of choice and serve.

Ingredients

 ½ onion, minced
 oil
 1 carrot, chopped
 1 large potato, parsnip or combinaiton of both, chopped into 1/2" cubes
 2 beets, chopped into 1/2" cubes
 ½ tsp sugar, plus more as needed
 pinch of red pepper flakes
 pinch of kosher salt
 freshly ground pepper
 chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
 splash of lemon juice
 sour cream, for serving, optional
 dill, for serving, optional
 any other garnish ingredients of choice (peas, asparagus, etc.)

Directions

1

Saute onion until soft and translucent in a lightly greased pan. Do not brown. Add red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute or so. Add vegetables, stock or water, pinch of salt, sugar and bring to simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes (if you cut your vegetables into matchstick, the time will need to be decreased as they will cook faster.) Cook to your liking. My preference is when vegetables are tender but still have a bite to them.

2

Plate into individual bowls. Squeeze a small amount of lemon into each bowl. The goal is not to make the soup sour, but to just very gently brighten up the flavour. Garnish with sour cream, dill, any other ingredients of choice and serve.

Borsch

Make it Vegetarian: use vegetable stock.

Make it Vegan: use vegetable stock, do not add sour cream.

Make it Low Carb/Paleo: omit sugar, omit potatoes or use other veggies in its place (parsnip, turnip, celery root, etc.)

Make it Dairy-Free: do not add sour cream.

Happens to be Gluten-Free: as with all gluten-free recipes, ensure all your ingredients are gluten free and not cross-contaminated.

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