Beet borscht is bright, bright beautiful red.
Roasted beets, baby greens, toasted walnuts, and a knob of goat cheese…no, no, no, not that again. Beets are cool and they add lovely color to winter salads on menus everywhere. And at home don’t forget about beets when you’re making a winter vegetable soup. Toss them in your own recipe, add the acidity of lemon juice, and you’ve just made an earthy borscht. Our borscht recipe is laden cabbage, carrots, onions, tomatoes, beets, and their greens. It’s a big potful. And those beets are powerful, just check out the color.
Beets are so easy to nuke. Microwave them whole in a covered dish for about six minutes. Let them steam and cool. When you can handle them, easily peel the skin off with a knife. Be prepared to have stained pink hands or wear rubber gloves while peeling.
We start with beef chuck. But, you can nix the meat and opt for using only beef broth or vegetable broth. Dollop each serving with sour cream or Greek yogurt. It freezes well.
- 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, heavy fat removed, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes including the juice
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 cups sliced green or red cabbage
- 3 beets with greens
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 to 4 tablespoons wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the meat cubes in batches and brown over medium-high heat on all sides. Add additional oil, as necessary, during the browning process. Remove from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and celery to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Return the meat cubes to the skillet.
Add the tomatoes and enough water to cover the meat.
Simmer about 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
While the meat simmers, cut the stems and greens from the beets. Cook the beets in a covered dish in the microwave oven on full power until tender, about 6 minutes. Allow the beets to steam and cool in the covered dish.
When cool, peel the skin from the beets. Chop into bite-size pieces. Chop the beet stems and greens.
Add the carrots, cabbage, and beet stems to the pot.
Continue to simmer about 15 minutes.
Add the beets and beet greens. Add the lemon juice and vinegar, to taste.
Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer 15 minutes. Makes about 10 servings.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.