Vegetarian Borsch

Vegetarian Borsch-1-14 As a young girl, I would find myself running barefoot to our family garden almost every day in the summers.  Since my Mom worked, I was the cook during summer vacations.

As the warm sun shined down on my ponytailed head, and I walked through the rows of tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and herbs, I would look for inspiration of what to prepare on that particular day. Besides having all kinds of fresh salads every single day, I would try to make a dinner menu based on what we had in the house with the vegetables that were growing outside. Since I was too young to have a driver’s license, I didn’t have the luxury to stop by a grocery store for a random item or two. It was great exercise for the mind and preparation for my own future housekeeping. I loved it with all my heart.

One day, I brought back all kinds of vegetables to the house and realized that they all would come together in an awesome Borsch. Even though I knew that my Mom always started her Borsch with some sort of meat broth, either we didn’t have any meat to use on that particular day, or I wasn’t exactly sure how to it, I don’t remember, but I do know that I was really proud of myself when Dad and Mom came home from work and we all sat down to have dinner as a family and everyone praised me and just raved about how good the Borsch was.

I don’t know if it was really THAT good or they were just trying to be really nice to an uncertain teenager, but that is my first memory of making Borsch. Even though I do prefer to add meat to Borsch, like the first recipe that I posted, sometimes I do crave something a little bit lighter and fresher. 

Ingredients:

1 cup dry beans, brined overnight in 4 cups water and 3/4 teaspoons table salt, or 1 (14.5 oz.) can of beans

12 cups water

2 dry bay leaves

3-5 black peppercorns

3 potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon oil or butter

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1 celery stalk, sliced

2 medium roasted beets (or canned beets, 2 (14.5 oz) cans), peeled and grated or sliced into matchsticks

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice

1 bunch beet greens, chopped

salt, pepper

fresh herbs – parsley, green onions, dill

sour cream, to garnish

Instructions:

Vegetarian Borsch-1-2 I like to brine the beans the night before I am planning to make the Borsch. You can also use canned beans, if you prefer. In that case, you would add the beans at the very end of cooking.

Vegetarian Borsch-1 Brining the beans will help to soften the skin of the beans so that they cook faster without bursting. As they brine, they will expand a bit. The beans on the left are the ones that I brined overnight and on the right is the same amount of dry beans. Quite a difference, wouldn’t you say?

Drain the beans from the brining liquid and put them into a large pot with the 12 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook the beans for about 20 minutes. Vegetarian Borsch-1-3 Meanwhile, prep the rest of your ingredients.

After the beans have cooked for 20 minutes, add the potatoes and the cabbage to the soup. Vegetarian Borsch-1-4 Add the dry bay leaf, peppercorns and season with salt. Vegetarian Borsch-1-5 In a skillet, melt the butter or oil, add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and softened. Add the carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until they are tender as well. Vegetarian Borsch-1-6

Vegetarian Borsch-1-7 Add the vegetables to the soup.

Using the same skillet, add the beets, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar (or lemon juice) and season with salt and pepper. Vegetarian Borsch-1-9 Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Vegetarian Borsch-1-11 Add the beets to the soup along with the beet greens. Vegetarian Borsch-1-8 Beet greens are wonderful to add to Borsch, especially if you have your own garden. During the summers, my Mom would always add the beet greens to the soup and it added so much freshness and flavor. I would add a lot more if my grocery store beets had more that a measly amount that I could get.

Vegetarian Borsch-1-12 Add the fresh herbs to the Borsch and serve with sour cream. Vegetarian Borsch-1-13

Vegetarian Borsch
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry beans, brined overnight in 4 cups water and ¾ teaspoons table salt, or 1 (14.5 oz.) can of beans
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • 3-5 black peppercorns
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 medium roasted beets (or canned beets, 2 (14.5 oz) cans), peeled and grated or sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 bunch beet greens, chopped
  • salt, pepper
  • fresh herbs - parsley, green onions, dill
  • sour cream, to garnish
Instructions
  1. I like to brine the beans the night before I am planning to make the Borsch. You can also use canned beans, if you prefer. In that case, you would add the beans at the very end of cooking.
  2. Drain the beans from the brining liquid and put them into a large pot pot with the 12 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook the beans for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prep the rest of your ingredients.
  4. After the beans have cooked for 20 minutes, add the potatoes and the cabbage to the soup. Add the dry bay leaf, peppercorns and season with salt.
  5. In a skillet, melt the butter or oil, add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and softened. Add the carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until they are tender as well. Add the vegetables to the soup.
  6. Using the same skillet, add the beets, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar (or lemon juice) and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add the beets to the soup along with the beet greens.
  7. Add the fresh herbs to the Borsch and serve with sour cream.

 
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Comments

  1. Katy says

    I love borsch with or without the meat! Sometimes I just don’t feel like un-thawing some meat and don’t have any fresh meat on hand and I whip up a borsch similar to yours!

  2. Julia says

    I am a vegetarian & I usually make my borshch with out meat. I know that w/meat it has richer taste but I’m so used to the taste w/out meat that I just enjoy it anyway. All the herbs bring out amazing taste! Thank you for this recipe it looks amazing!:)

  3. liuda says

    Thank You for a wonderful recipe , i am vegetarian mostly vegan and we would love more recipe like this one great job, u are amazing !!!

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