Golden Beet Soup

Golden Beet Soup-1-22Beets are a no-brainer for a Belarussian. It’s an ingredient I grew up with and something our family ate regularly. Borsch will always be one of my favorite soups. I’m very familiar with the vegetable. Not only did we buy it year round, but we also grew it in the garden. I could even recognize the seeds even if the tiny paper package wasn’t labeled. We ate beets in soups and in salads and even used the beet greens. However, it was always red beets that we were so intimately acquainted with. Of course, the other varieties always caught my eye. I’m a “lubopitnaya Varvara” (Russian – curious Barbara. Hmmmm…. Just doesn’t sound right translated) so when I saw some beautiful golden beets at the grocery store the other day, they ended up coming home with me. A kitchen challenge just makes me cackle with glee inside, so this was only natural.

I’m a soup fiend, so that was my first approach to these beauties. I also didn’t want a Borsch copycat, so I gave it a bit of a different spin. With a broth, “vegetably” concoction in mind, I browsed through the rest of the produce aisle and picked up a few other things that seemed like a good combination in my mind. This time my curiosity paid off really well and I still have my nose:). (The rest of the Russian proverb states that “любопытной Варваре на базаре нос оторвали” – literally, curious Barbara’s nose was torn off at market, similar to “curiosity killed the cat”.)

Golden Beet Soup will be a staple in our home from now on. Not only is it very hearty and filling, like a good soup should be, especially in the winter, but it’s also brothy (my personal favorite), light, healthy and tastes phenomenal. Plus, Sergi loved it just as much as I did and it’s a superb leftover. I have very high standards for leftovers. What more can I say? 

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1-2 leeks, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

1-2 celery stalks, sliced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large golden beet, chopped

6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1-2 cups water

3 medium potatoes, chopped (gold potatoes are best)

1/2 yellow bell pepper (or red bell pepper), chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

fresh herbs (parsley, dill, green onion) minced

sour cream, to serve with the soup, optional

1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice, optional

Instructions:

Golden Beet Soup-1-34Heat the oil in a dutch oven or a heavy bottomed large pot. Add the leeks, season with salt and cook for about 3 minutes, until they are tender. Golden Beet Soup-1-33Add the carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the carrots have softened. Golden Beet Soup-1-32Add the beets, season with salt and pepper, cook for another 3-5 minutes, until they are starting to soften. Golden Beet Soup-1-30

Golden Beet Soup-1-29Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered for 10-15 minutes, until the beets have softened even more. Since they take a lot longer than the potatoes to cook through, this will give them a head start in cooking, so they finish cooking at the same time. The broth should mostly become absorbed by all the vegetables. Golden Beet Soup-1-28

Golden Beet Soup-1-35Pour in the remaining 5 cups of broth and the water. Adjust the amount of water depending on how thick/thin you like your soup to be. Golden Beet Soup-1-27Bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, reduce to a simmer and cook the soup for about 5-7 minutes. Golden Beet Soup-1-26Add the bell pepper and continue cooking just until the potatoes and beets are both cooked through. Golden Beet Soup-1-25Add the zucchini and cook for 3-5 minutes. Golden Beet Soup-1-24

Golden Beet Soup-1-23Garnish the soup with fresh herbs. Golden Beet Soup-1-22You can also serve the soup with sour cream, just like traditional Borsch. Golden Beet Soup-1-21If you’re not serving the soup with sour cream, it might be a good idea to add a Tablespoon or two of freshly squeezed lemon juice at the end, for a bright note of acidity. Golden Beet Soup-1-20

Leftovers reheat really well, so make sure to make a big pot and you can enjoy it two days in a row, or make it in advance for a convenient and very nutritious meal to serve to your family or guests.

Technically, you can just dump in all the vegetables, broth and water into the pot and cook until the potatoes and beets are tender and cooked through. That would work. However, sautéing the aromatics in the beginning gives so much more flavor to the soup. Also, I like every separate vegetable to be cooked perfectly, not some to be hard and others mushy. Am I a little extreme? Maybe. Since different vegetables cook at different rates, adding them just at certain time points is crucial to achieving perfection in every bite. You are the boss of your soup, so it’s totally up to you. I won’t be standing over your shoulder shaking my head and judging:).

Golden Beet Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large golden beet, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped (gold potatoes are best)
  • ½ yellow bell pepper (or red bell pepper), chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh herbs (parsley, dill, green onion) minced
  • sour cream, to serve with the soup, optional
  • 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or a heavy bottomed large pot. Add the leeks, season with salt and cook for about 3 minutes, until they are tender.
  2. Add the carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the carrots have softened.
  3. Add the beets, season with salt and pepper, cook for another 3-5 minutes, until they are starting to soften. Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered for 10-15 minutes, until the beets have softened even more. Since they take a lot longer than the potatoes to cook through, this will give them a head start in cooking, so they finish cooking at the same time. The broth should mostly become absorbed by all the vegetables.
  4. Pour in the remaining 5 cups of broth and the water. Adjust the amount of water depending on how thick/thin you like your soup to be. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add the potatoes, reduce to a simmer and cook the soup for about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add the bell pepper and continue cooking just until the potatoes and beets are both cooked through.
  7. Add the zucchini and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Garnish the soup with fresh herbs. You can also serve the soup with sour cream, just like traditional Borsch. If you're not serving the soup with sour cream, it might be a good idea to add a Tablespoon or two of freshly squeezed lemon juice at the end, for a bright note of acidity.
  9. Leftovers reheat really well, so make sure to make a big pot and you can enjoy it two days in a row, or make it in advance for a a convenient and very nutritious meal to serve to your family or guests.

22 Comments

  • TAMARA

    YOU ARE SO AMAZING. I HOPE WHEN I MAKE THIS IT LOOKS AS GOOD AS YOURS. I LOVE HOMEMADE SOUP. IF I MAKE A BIG POT I FREEZE LEFTOVERS IN SINGLE SERVING SIZES. I LIKE HAVING A VARIETY TO CHOOSE FROM ON HAND FOR A QUICK MEAL.

  • Tatyana

    This soup looks so yummy! Now I will have to look for golden beets so I can make it as well. Having grown up in Ukraine, I love borsch and any type of soup, especially something yummy but healthy. This soup brings memories of “summer soup” when Mom used whatever veggies we had in our ogorod. I completely agree with you — sauteeing aromatics and adding vegetables based on the time they need to cook is a must for a good soup.

  • Shinee

    Love this soup, Olga! Colorful and hearty. Growing up, we used to have yellow and red beets a lot. Not sure if this golden beet is the same as the yellow beet I used to have. Will see if I can find this golden beet locally. 🙂

    • olgak7

      The dark green part of leeks are much coarser and harder. Since they are tough and thick, they are best used in Chicken or Vegetable Stock, where they will give their flavor but you don’t need to eat the tough part.

  • Erica

    I found something at the store that looks just like this golden beet but it was called something else.. I didn’t realize this until i cut it up because its lighter. Is a golden beet a rare veg the stores only have some of the time.. or is there a different name for it.. LOL sorry just confused a lil. I put it in the soup so I guess I will see how it turns out. ( I do still think i bought the wrong thing)

  • Courtney

    Hi Olga! Just made this soup yesterday, and my, it was delicious! Confession- my store did not have a golden beet, and we live in a rural area, so there was no hope to go to another store and try to find it elsewhere. Since I had already planned my grocery list around my meals, I figured I’d make it anyway. It was delicious! I’ve never had a golden beet, and I wonder how it would have been with it, but it was still good without it. I increased some of the other veggies since I didn’t have it, and it was a fantastic, and great for my throat since I have a cough! Loved, loved, loved!

    • olgak7

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this soup, Courtney.
      As homemakers, we have to adjust to what is available. I do it all the time. It is a blessing to live in an area where we have so much available, but many times I don’t want to make an extra trip to the store and it’s always so fun to be creative and use what is on hand. Thank you for taking the time to write.

  • Natasha

    I made this today, along with your stroganoff meatball, and I was very pleased with how it turned out! It worked out well cooking them together also. I was a bit nervous because I’m not a skilful cook, but I managed just fine, and the outcome made me feel proud.

    My only suggestion would be, to those who make this, not to put too much sour cream on before serving. I over did it, and it took away from the rich pleasant flavor of the actual soup.

    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe that was easy to follow and novice-cook friendly! I certainly plan to make this again!

    • olgak7

      I love your comment, Natasha! One of the best things about cooking is how good it makes you feel to create something delicious and be proud of yourself and then get to enjoy your work by eating it and watching the people you love enjoy it too.
      I agree about the sour cream – a light hand is good. I really love how light and fresh this soup tastes).

  • Julia

    Ok so I have been looking everywhere and can’t find the yellow golden beets😐 they only have red ones in store. Also I live in the federal way, wa area. Where could I find em? Please help thank you

  • Karalina

    This soup was so good!! I used 3 golden beets, added in half a sweet onion in addition to a giant leek, bay leaf, and actually added half a green cabbage.. Also added some chard towards the end for some extra leafy greens. I don’t cut my vegetables as precise as you but I’m also lazy! I served it with some lemon & herb (fresh rosemary and fresh lemon thyme) dinner rolls., which I was lazy with shaping!! I was out of fresh dill and sour cream (as Ukrainian descent person, I am ashamed….) , so I finished soup with parsley and the lemon juice from the lemon I had zested earlier for the dinner roll dough. The meal ended up being a slightly alternative style of borsch and pampushki. Very enjoyable and nice for early Spring! Thank you for sharing!

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