Thursday, 13 March 2014

Healthy soup recipe: Beets, beets, beets

One of my favourite healthy soup recipes: beet soup
Beets are one of those foods that I could eat everyday. I looove them. That's why one of my favourite recipes is my grandma's beet soup, or borsch. It's a recipe that takes me back to my childhood in Ukraine, something I want to teach my son about.

Russian culture is very rich, and one of the ways I continue to feel connected to it I grew up in is through food. I love to recreate old recipes with a modern twist (usually trying to find a healthier way to replace all that mayo you can find in Russian food).

When I prepared borsch or beet soup this week, I wanted to give it a new spin, and came up with this version:


Welcome to Mommyhood: Healthy soup recipe Russian beet soup



Mmmmm. We ate this with some lentils, too, and it was perfect! I loved that it was a bit easier than the 'normal' recipe I use as I could just roughly chop all of the ingredients, throw them in one pot, and get on with my day. And, I think this would be a fantastic slow cooker recipe! Sadly, I don't own one anymore, but when that wonderful day will come- I'll try it out! 

One more thing, this is a very versatile recipe and it can be a paleo recipe or a vegan recipe, depending on whether or not you want to include the meat. We usually do, but seriously, it's still tasty no matter what meat you use or if you omit it all together. 

Shall we get onto the recipe now? Yep? Here it is - one of my favourite healthy soup recipes modified: 


Russian beet soup 


Time

1.5 hours total 

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 2-3 chicken breasts (or another meat that you want to use, or you can omit this if you are vegetarian/vegan) 
  • 2/3 head of a purple cabbage
  • 1 large potato
  • 5 beets
  • 1/2 a head of garlic
  • 1 tin of tomato paste or two tablespoons 
  • 5 tomatoes blanched with the skin removed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of thyme 
  • Water 

Instructions

  • Pan fry onions
  • Add meat, salt and pepper, and spices
  • When the meat has reached a lovely golden colour, add enough water to cover the meat and onions 
  • Cook the meat for about twenty minutes, or until the chicken is really soft and tender
  • Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon
  • Add beets (cut up into small pieces so they cook faster, or you can steam or boil them beforehand) 
  • Make sure that there is enough water to keep the beets covered

As you are preparing this recipe, the main thing to worry about is to keep the vegetables covered so they keep on cooking. Don't make them swim in the water, but just enough so that everything is in the water
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for about half an hour or until the beets are starting to get soft
  • Add the rest of the ingredients 
  • Bring to boil again and simmer until everything is tender 

When it is tender, you want to think about how thick you like your soup. My husband and I like it thick, so we poured out about 1/4 of the water in the pot. I saved that water to cook some lentils in for on the side.
  • Get out your blending tool, and puree the soup until you get the consistency/texture that you like. 
  • Then add the meat back
  • Warm up the meat and it's ready to serve! 


Welcome to Mommyhood: Healthy soup recipe Russian beet soup


We like to have chunks, so I didn't want to puree the meat, but I suppose you could! That would take quite a bit of cooking time out of the recipe. If you want to do it this way, then simply boil/steam the beets first, then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer for about forty five minutes. Then you puree, and voila! Done. 

Now that the weather is getting warmer, this looks like it will be the last soup recipe for a while. I'm excited to start moving onto to spring produce, too, and varying up what we are eating. We've already had some asparagus, fava beans, kiwis! I'm so excited to see the farmers market getting more colourful! I can't wait for cherries! I'll be posting another dish from my childhood as soon as they are in season. 

What are you most looking forward to eating as the weather warms up and the seasons change? 

Interested in the original borsch or beet soup recipe that my grandma passed down to me? 

Welcome to Mommyhood: healthy soup recipe Borscht


For more healthy recipes, be sure to visit my Healthy Recipes Page.

Today, I am linking up at


April's Homemaking



Thank you for reading, 
Yuliya