Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meatless Borscht

While I love borscht, I don't make it very often. My mother-in-law makes fantastic borscht, and it's kind of a hard act to follow. But our new plant-based diet has changed the way I look at food. If we are going to be successful with this new way of eating, we should be turning more often to vegetable dishes we love to help us miss meat less. Well, as I have already stated, I love borscht. So, here goes nothing.

I turned to Chowtimes for my inspiration. Chowtimes is the very informative and entertaining food blog of Richmond, BC husband and wife Ben and Suanne Yap. If my husband and I want to know where to go in the lower mainland for the best dumplings or pho, this is where we look first. On top of that, they have great recipes.

About this time last year, they posted a good basic borscht recipe without any meat. I adapted it a bit to suit my own preferences and what I had on hand. If I do say so myself, it was spectacular. The key may have been my substitution of  Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar for the apple cider vinegar in the original recipe. That and an extra splash of plain champagne vinegar to cut the sweetness even more. If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, or someone who can hook you up, a splash of orange juice with a splash of a good white wine, champagne or sherry vinegar will help give it that extra dimension.

Meatless Borscht

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 6 medium or 4 large beets, peeled and diced
  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
  •  large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 - 5 cups finely chopped red or green cabbage
  • 2 small or 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock (I used diluted chicken bouillon)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar plus an extra splash of a plain, champagne or other, vinegar
  • salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or dry dill to taste
  • low fat sour cream or plain yogurt, optional
  1. Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beets, potatoes, carrot, cabbage and onion and saute until cabbage softens, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add stock, water and tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium low and cook 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir often.
  3. Add vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and dill to taste.
  4. Serve hot with an optional dollop of sour cream or yogurt. 
Serves 6. 


  1. Your pictures are great. The intensity of the red clour makes that a really pretty soup.

  2. It is isn't it? And my hands were only red for an hour or so. :-)

  3. ALWAYS have a box of disposable gloves for chopping beets, mixing things, etc... work great!