Hello beautiful people,
A little while back, I posted this beautiful picture of a borscht I made, on my Instagram account. I won’t lie, this was one of the best borscht I’ve ever made… after a few disappointing attempts. If you read my post at the time, I mention that a few years back, I traveled through Poland for 1 month. It was amazing. The food, the people, the scenery, the food… lol. Krakow was my favourite city, boasting so much history and Zakopane was my favourite nature destination with amazing hiking trails and gorgeous mountain views. Zakopne is where I tasted the most delicious borscht and Krakow is where I discovered the most amazing mushroom pierogies (mushrooms are a huge thing in Poland!). But those pierogies are for another post. For now, I’m all about the borscht.
Polish cuisine is hearty and stick to your ribs kinda food, with potatoes often being at the centre of it all. Now I love me some potatoes but every now and then, it’s nice to have something different and this soup is exactly that. Borscht is a clear broth soup made from beets, hence where it gets its beautiful reddish pink colour.
In my own experience, Borscht is prepared differently depending on where you are in Poland. In the north, they tend to serve it with chucks of carrots, cabbage, potatoes and meat on the bone. In the centre of Poland, it’s a clear broth often times served cold with some freshly baked rye bread. And in the south, they serve it just the way I like it, a clear warm broth with either chunks or grated pieces of beets, along with the beloved potatoes. Borscht tends to be on the bitter side so the little pieces of beets give it just enough sweetness to balance out the soup.
Now you know I’m gonna tell you about the nutrition behind this soup…
Beets in and of themselves are little nutrition powerhouses. According to the people at Organic Facts, the health benefits of beets include the treatment of anemia, indigestion, constipation, piles, kidney disorders, dandruff, gall bladder disorders, cancer, and heart disease. It also helps to prevent macular degeneration, improve blood circulation, aid in skin care, prevent cataracts and mediate respiratory problems. That’s a whole lot of muscle power for such a cute little red vegetable. But beets are indeed loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber and it’s no surprise they can do so much for you.
Some of you may have heard of the “borscht cleanse” that is common in alternative medicine and used as a liver cleanse. According to The Health Coach, the beet mobilizes the liver like perhaps no other food and in so doing moves gallstones, hardened bile, accumulations of cholesterol, calcified “liver gravel”, chaff and other waste products through the bile ducts and into the GI tract. In this way these unwanted detoxification byproducts can be permanently expelled from the body. Cleanses vary in intensity with some recommending you eat borscht several times a day to when ever you feel your liver could use a little boost.
Personally, I like to enjoy borscht when the weather gets a little cooler outside and I’m looking for a lighter meal. And since this soup is also delicious when served cold, it makes for a no-fuss lunch. Perfect!
And like many soups and stews, I like to make this a day ahead, to let the beets release their delicious colour and nutrients. It also tastes so much better in my opinion. And since it really doesn’t take long to put together (grating the beets and onions is the longest part), it can easily be done on a weeknight, once you have a few minutes of free time. And just like that, your dinner is made for the following night. Now all that’s left to do is stop by the baker’s for some freshly baked rye bread (or any bread of your liking!) or put some potatoes in the oven.
I’m all for easy meals that pack a nutritious punch!
I hope you and your family enjoys this recipe. Leave a comment and let me know what side dish you served it with!
- 4 medium size beets
- 1 small sweet onion
- 1 tsp palm oil (or vegan butter)
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 10 cups of vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and peel the beets.
- Grate the beets and the onions. Set aside.
- Heat a pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Melt the palm oil.
- Add the caraway seeds and stir for 2 minute.
- Add the broth, bay leaf, apple cider vinegar, grated beets and onion. Stir
- Bring the heat back to medium heat and bring the soup to a boil. Let the soup boil for 2 minutes then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste
- Enjoy warm or let it cool for a cold soup.