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Borscht is a popular vegetarian Russian soup made with beets, cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, black pepper, and fresh dill.
A dollop of sour cream or yogurt as a garnish is a typical accompaniment.
Like many vegetable soups, this simple borscht recipe is oil-free.
The Health Benefits of Beets
Beets are a powerful blood and liver cleanser. Consumption of beets helps to cool and cleanse the blood by flushing the bile, which has a tendency to thicken over time.
High in iron, beets—like most red foods—also help to build good new blood.
Raw beets have a hot nature, which makes them most beneficial for Vata and Kapha doshas, but after they are cooked, they become more cooling, which is better for Pitta.
Use your judgement when enjoying beets. They can turn your urine and/or stools red, so don’t be alarmed.
In this recipe, you’ll add warming anti-inflammatory ingredients like vinegar, black pepper, garlic, and clove.
The spices are necessary to add flavor and interest to this oil-free soup. Oils and fats are great carriers of flavor, so be generous. If you feel like adding extra after tasting, then do so.
The warming spices are balanced by the cooling bittersweet flavors of the carrots, onions, and cabbage. So, overall this recipe is quite balanced.
Enjoy this naturally sweet treat while on a cleanse, or any time you want some gentle support for comfortable digestion.
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Recipe for Simple Borscht (oil free)
for the soup stock
- 5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- pinch clove powder
for the vegetables
- 2 cups beets peeled and grated
- 1 cup onions sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 celery stalks thinly sliced
- 1 carrot sliced
- 4 cups cabbage finely chopped
for the garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh dill minced
- Start the soup stock. Add water, red wine vinegar, bay leaves, salt, and pepper to a large saucepan on high heat.
- Prepare the vegetables and add each to the soup stock. Peel beets and grate using a food processor, kitchen mandoline, or by hand. Slice onion and chop garlic. Wash and slice celery and carrot. Chop cabbage.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are well cooked. Add fresh dill just before serving.
- Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.