Vegan Beet Borscht

I was craving this European standard built around a beautiful bunch of beets that involves about 20 minutes of preparation and another 25 minutes of simmering. I started by frying 2 or 3 cloves of chopped garlic and 1 large onion in olive oil enough to coat the bottom of the stock pot. While this was cooking slowly, I rinsed, peeled and chopped 2 large beets, 3 medium carrots and 1 large sweet potato (I'd normally use white or yellow potato but in their absence, the yam works great and probably healthier :) I threw them in the pot and stirred them in with the onions and garlic. Next I drained and rinsed a can of kidney beans and threw them in (navy or other beans work well). Then about 7 or 8 cups of water (enough to cover everything) and a vegetable boullion cube. While it was coming to a boil, I quickly rinsed and chopped the beet stems and leaves and tossed them in (I love them added to the borscht; never throw them out!).


As it came to a boil, I reduced the heat to a slow simmer and added the finishing touches—a little black pepper, lots of dill (maybe a heaping teaspoon, or a good handful of fresh sprigs if you have), a little parsley, a bay leaf and a little salt (optional).


After 25 minutes of slow simmering with the lid on, it was done except for stirring in a quick squirt of vinegar. If you're like me, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil adds a nice toasty touch.


Served with a dollop of Toffutti brand Sour Supreme or other Vegan Sour Cream and some hard toast, you can make a meal on this tasty dish!

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Taken on October 7, 2012
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