Borscht has many European origins, and this recipe in particular is based on a Ukrainian favourite. Beets add a deep ruby colour and a sweet and earthy flavour to this vegetable-based soup. Both hearty and nutritious, this soup is especially delicious with a dollop of sour cream. Recipe created by Maria McLellan, PHEc, excerpted from Homegrown, by Mairlyn Smith. Reprinted with permission of Whitecap Books, 2015.

8 people
  • Ingredients

    ½ lb small beets (250 g / appox. 4-5)

    2 Tbsp canola oil (30 mL)

    1 onion, chopped (1)

    2 large garlic cloves, minced (2)

    2 medium potatoes, scrubbed well, cubed and rinsed (2)

    3 celery stalks with leaves, chopped (3)

    2 carrots, finely chopped (2)

    ¼ small cabbage, shredded into slivers no longer than 1 inch (2.5 cm) (1/4)

    8 cups no-salt added vegetable or beef broth (2 L)

    1 bay leaf (1)

    1 tsp caraway seeds (5 mL)

    1 tsp dried basil leaves (5 mL)

    1 tsp dried sage leaves (5 mL)

    ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper (2 mL)

    1, 19 oz can lima beans, drained and rinsed well (540 mL)

    1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (75 mL)

    1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (15 mL)

    ½ tsp iodized salt (2 mL)

  • Directions
    1. Rinse beets under cold running water; trim any green ends and place unpeeled beets in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Drain. When cool to the touch, peel and cube; set aside.
    2. In a large soup pot over medium heat, add oil, onion and garlic, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened but not browned.
    3. Add potatoes, celery, carrots and cabbage and sauté for 1 minute. Add stock, bay leaf, caraway seeds, basil, sage, pepper and stir until combined. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer, cooking for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
    4. Remove bay leaf, add lima beans, parsley, vinegar and reserved beets. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to simmer. When the soup is heated through, serve. Soup can be made the day before, and flavour improves when refrigerated and reheated the next day.

    In a hurry? Use 4 or 5 small canned beets.

Nutritional Analysis

Serving Size
1 1/2 cups (375 mL)
Total Fat
4 g
Saturated Fat
0.4 g
Trans. Fat
0.1 g
0 mg
411 mg
31.8 mg
5.3 g
10.2 g
5.2 g

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