Borscht is an Eastern European beet soup. I added several nontraditional ingredients to my recipe to make it more nutritious for the little ones in our family. I’ve always had borscht with some sort of meat, but I substituted mushrooms for the meat in my recipe. The beans and lentils also add some protein and heartiness to the soup.
1 onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Leek, diced
1 Parsnip Root, grated
3 Carrots, grated
2 Cups Green Cabbage, shredded
1 Can Pinto Beans
1/2 Cup Red Lentils
2 Potatoes, diced
20 oz Baby Portabella Mushrooms, diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Kale, finely chopped
Greek Yogurt, garnish (sour cream is used traditionally)
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Wrap each beet individually in foil. Place the wrapped beets into a baking pan an bake for an hour. Remove, set aside, and let them cool completely.
2. In a large pan, saute the onion, garlic, leek, carrot, cabbage, and parsnip root with some olive oil and salt. Saute on low-medium heat until the cabbage becomes translucent.
3. Slice the baby portabella mushrooms into thick slices and then dice then into cubes. I use a dice chopper to get perfectly sized cubes. Saute the mushrooms with some olive oil and salt. The mushrooms will begin releasing their water, don’t let it evaporate, pour it off to the side and add it to your broth. Continue sauteing the mushrooms until they begin to brown.
4. Fill an 8 quart pot 3/4 full of water and put it under high heat. Puree a can of pinto beans and add it to the pot. Add the red lentils to the pot and allow the water to come to a boil.
5. Chop your potatoes into tiny cubes. (I don’t use the dicer for the potatoes because I like the potatoes to be smaller than the smallest setting available.) Add the potatoes to the pot once the water begins boiling. Turn down the range to allow for a low boil.
6. Meanwhile, peel the baked beets. The skin will come off very easily if you just cut the top and bottom pieces off. I wear gloves and just massage the skin off the beets. Slice the beets into thick slices and then cube them using a dice chopper.
7. Add the sauteed vegetables, mushrooms, and beets to the pot. Allow the soup to boil for another 15-20 minutes before serving. Serve the hot soup over some finely chopped kale and a dollop of Greek Yogurt.