Garden-Fresh Borscht

It’s hard to beat the nice weather we’ve had this fall. In fact, many locales in the area have yet to experience a killing frost, so a lot of people still are reaping the bounty from their gardens.

And nothing is better than a pot of soup that’s loaded with fresh vegetables, even when the temperatures are approaching 80 degrees.

While I should have been making chili for our annual elk hunting trip to Colorado, a kettle of soup seemed like a better idea, since we had a bunch of home-grown carrots, cabbage and tomatoes just waiting to be used.

What I came up with was a vegetarian borscht that contained the aforementioned vegetables as well as green beans, onions, dill and beets from my garden. The result was so delicious I’ve decided to share the recipe.

Vegetarian Russian Borscht
1 small cabbage
2 medium-sized beets
3 carrots
1 15-ounce can white beans
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon celery seeds
½ pound green beans
Sour cream if desired
Scrub and boil beets (skin on) until soft, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Peel and shred beets, shred carrots and shred cabbage (use a food processor if you have one for all of this shredding)
Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy soup pot. Saute together the carrots, diced onion and diced potato until soft.
Add approximately 3 quarts of water and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add bouillon cubes and can of beans. Bring to a boil again.
Add tomato paste and lemon juice, mix well and bring back to a boil. Add cabbage and green beans and boil until cabbage and beans feel soft. Add paprika, black pepper and salt to taste. Add beets and allow to boil about 5 more minutes.
Taste borscht and adjust seasonings as desired.
Serve hot. Ttop with sour cream.