Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beet Soup (Borscht) with Red Kidney Beans

Beet Soup (Borscht) with Red Kidney Beans
I think I told you already (anyone out there?) that I love soup. Borscht is one of my favorites. I grew up eating it and continue doing so, especially when I am feeling nostalgic about my home land (Polandia). Recently, my mom shared a cool tip with me regarding this soup. She started adding red beans to it in efforts to get my brother to eat more healthfully. He is not reading this, so the secret shall remain with us. Please don't tell him.

Moreover - I love using transitions that I also use when writing school papers - I had to add a picture of my Krakowianka doll (traditional Polish Folk doll) I used to play with as a child, to show my Polish spirit. I had this doll since second or third grade. She still looks fantastic! No wrinkles!

Na zdrowie!

Beet Soup (Borscht) with Red Kidney Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter (optional/adds rich flavor)
1 medium sized onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large or 4 medium sized red beets, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
2 bay leaves
7 cups strong vegetable broth
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, depending on preference
1 and 1/2 cups cooked or 1 (15-oz can) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Fresh dill (optional)

Beet Soup (Borscht) with Red Kidney Beans
In a large soup pot, sauté the onion in oil, vegan butter or water over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Add carrots, and garlic and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Add a splash of water to prevent from sticking and stir constantly. Add sea salt, black pepper, cumin, thyme, marjoram and bay leaves and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir constantly and add another splash of water if necessary. Add red beets and vegetable broth, stir, cover and bring it to a boil.

Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 45 minutes, until the beets are fork tender. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Taste for salt and pepper. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender or use an immersion blender, to blend the soup. Return back to the soup pot if using a blender, add beans.

Serve with fresh dill, vegan sour cream or your favorite crusty bread.

Don't have a blender? No worries, just be sure to finely chop the onion and grate the beets and carrots, instead of chopping.


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