This drop-dead delicious, deeply purple-red soup is a soup that my dad grew up on. Growing up Ukrainian, his Baba always made “the best” borscht my dad had ever tasted. We are unsure of her exact recipe, but I did my best to make it like hers with my dads guidance and from a lovely lady in Kenora Shirley, whose borscht , my dad says, tastes like Baba’s! Borscht soup is based on beets, along with other vegetables that make this dish highly nourishing and healing. If you ever feel like you haven’t been eating that well or may be run down, a bowl of this soup will do wonders for your health.
2 cups grated beets
1 cup beet greens
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1 potato, diced
8 cups water (or vegetable stock/potato water)
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh dill weed, plus stalks of dill (approximately 2-3 sprigs dill)
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or organic butter)
Unrefined sea salt to taste
¼ cup chopped pickled beets (optional)
1.Sautee onion, carrots, tomato and garlic until fragrant. Add water/stock/potato water, grated beets and dill stalks (wrap all the dill stalks in cheese clothe so can pull out after cooking). Bring to boil and cook 15 minutes.
2.Add beet greens, cabbage and potato and cook until tender (about 10 min.)
3.Add lemon juice, parsley and salt to taste. Remove bay leaf. Serves 8.
Note: Can add 1/3 cup navy beans for an even heartier soup. You may also use potato water in place of the water or vegetable stalk.
*Shirley Carbert from Granny’s Old Tyme Cooking located in Kenora ON has her
Baba’s borscht and many other Ukrainian specialties available to order. Call 807-543-2083 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find her at Kenora’s weekly Farmers Market*
Whole Food Sneak Peak:
The beet belongs to the same family as chard and spinach. Both the root and the leaves can be eaten. Beet leaves have a lively, bitter taste similar to that of chard. The beet root is ruby red, round or oblong in shape and is sweet to taste due to its high sugar content. Typically beets are a reddish purple hue, but also come in other varieties, such as white or golden roots.
Beets are delightful not only for their color and flavour but for their high nutritional profile. Beet roots are incredibly rich in iron, potassium, niacin, copper, folic acid, manganese and vitamin C.Don’t forget to eat thebeet greens attached to the root as they are higher in nutritional value than the root – they are a good source of vitamin A and C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and vitamin B6.
Beets are high in fiber, phytonutrients and anticancer properties. Fresh, raw beets are superior to canned or cooked beets.
Beets are great for the liver as they have stimulating effects on the liver’s detoxification processes. They possess a powerful cancer-fighting agent (betacyanin), which is the pigment that gives their rich, purple-crimson color. Beets also aid in constipation as they are rich in fiber. The combination of the fiber and betacyanin may be responsible for the protective role of beets against colon cancer. Some studies show that beet fiber increases antioxidant enzymes and the juice inhibits the formation of cancer causing compounds from cured or smoked meats.
For some people beets will make their stool turn bloody-red, so don’t be alarmed. Actually, raw beets can be used to measure intestinal transit time (18-28 hours is normal). Eat a couple fresh, raw beets, check the time and watch when the first sign of them appears in the bowel movement (reddish tinge to stool or in water). Canned beets will not work for this purpose as much of the red pigment (and a lot of nutrients) are lost in canning.
Beet roots are delicious shredded in salads, raw or steamed to make their own salad, in soups or as a side dish. Also, beet roots and greens are very nutritious to juice with and don’t forget to throw your beet greens into your soups or casseroles.