Borscht is a soup made of beets and cabbage with many variations available. A quick google search included versions with beef, vegetarian, creamy, chilled, pureed, and more. There are Ukranian, Russian, and Polish variations. This is the version that I love to make all year round, but is surprisingly light as a summer soup. My favorite borschts include greens, but the greens are totally optional. This soup is just as good without them. I prepare this with a clear broth and it comes out similar to a stew. The beets aren’t overwhelming with the mix of other vegetables and white beans are a nice vegetarian protein. If you love borscht we also have a beef version that’s great, and very different from this one.
As I started gathering ingredients I realized this soup contains so many veggies we grow on the farm! There are some others that make a great addition like fennel and potato. Don’t be afraid to customize based on the contents of your CSA Share. CSA cooking is best when flexible! You might notice this is a huge batch of soup! This soup freezes nicely, so I often make a huge batch. Back to school is right around the corner and we like to make a big pot of soup at the beginning of the week or on Sunday – it makes great leftovers. To make a smaller batch reduce the liquid, cabbage, and greens. Don’t skimp on the tomatoes, beets or carrots.
Once everything is chopped the soup simmers fairly quickly, depending on how soft you prefer your cabbage. I typically enjoy this soup with bright colors, but cooked long enough so everything is tender. Take your time cutting the carrots and beets into small cubes, and shredding the cabbage into bite size pieces.
We’re in the middle of a huge tomato harvest right now….but I used a can of tomatoes for this soup. The Meal Plan For Week 11 included another tomato recipe so I wasn’t sure if there would be enough tomatoes in each share to use fresh. It looks like their might be, so if you prefer use fresh tomatoes and a little water in place of the canned. The canned tomatoes will be great if you make this soup in the fall.
Vegetarian Borscht with Greens
2 large or 3 small beets, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 medium or 1/2 a large onion, finely diced
2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green or cone-shaped cabbage, shredded
Optional: 1/2 bunch of kale, swiss chard, or greens from one bunch of beets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can or 1.5 cups cooked white beans
1 can or 1.5 cups diced tomatoes
8 -10 cups vegetable stock (chicken works for a non-vegetarian version)
1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh dill or 2 tablespoons dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Sauté onions and garlic until onions start to turn translucent. Add carrots and beets and cook for about 4minutes until they start to soften. Add 8 cups cooking stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Beets and carrots should be tender but not all the way softened. Add cabbage, greens (if using), and beans to the pot. If more liquid is desired add remaining 2 cups of stock. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer for another 10 minutes until cabbage and greens are cooked through. Turn off heat and add vinegar and dill. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Top with greek yogurt or sour cream if desired.
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