Beet is the main ingredient of this vegetarian borscht, and its flavor and color dominate this well-known soup. It is a classic of both Russia and Poland. Serve this rustic, vegetarian soup before a salad or other light main course. It goes well with whole-wheat bread.
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- 1 big beet, peeled, grated
- 1 medium carrot, peeled, grated
- 1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 cups vegetable stock or water, plus more if need it
- 1 medium potato, peeled, cubed
- 1/2 white cabbage head, chopped
- fresh herbs to serve (fresh dill, parsley)
- sour cream to serve (optional)
Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions and garlic over a low heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beets, carrots, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, salt, pepper and one cup of vegetable stock or water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover partially and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add the rest of the stock and potato, bring to the boil and add cabbage. Cook for another 15 minutes, until all vegetables are very tender. Adjust the seasonings. Discard the bay leaf. Ladle the borscht into bowls and serve with fresh herbs and sour cream. Perfect with slices of rustic bread.