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This is a really easy & fresh & light dish. It will likely render your kitchen a crime scene so be sure to wear an apron. Most borscht is vegan so that isn’t really of note here – but I thought I’d point it out. I topped mine with Greek yogurt. You could use a vegan alternative or sour cream or creme fraiche. Or nothing. If you do not add any creamy element – this is a guiltless soup. The only thing in it with any calories worth talking about is a little olive oil but this make a lot of soup so the amount that ends up in a serving is very low. You could lower it further by boiling the beets rather than roasting them but I think roasting adds a nice flavor. This can be served hot or cold, too, which is a nice option to have. I pureed the bulk of the soup & reserved a few cubes of beets for texture. You could leave it chunky or puree it completely. Your call!
Vegan Roasted Beet & Balsamic Borscht
4 HUGE beets (or 10-12 small ones) – halved or quartered
4 carrots – chopped
4 celery stalks – chopped
1 onion – diced
4 garlic cloves – chopped
2 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp Marmite (optional)
1 TBS good quality balsamic vinegar
fresh dill – as garnish
Greek yogurt (or vegan option or sour cream or creme fraiche) for garnish
Toss the beets in a bit of olive oil & salt & pepper liberally. Roast on a foil-lined pan at 400 degrees for about an hour – or until easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large stock pot. Saute the onion, celery & carrots over medium heat for about ten minutes or until they soften. Add the bay leaves & garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add the stock & the marmite (if using) & simmer over medium-low heat.
Peel half the beets & reserve the skins. Cube the peeled beets and set aside.
Chop the other half of the beets coarsely. Add the skins & unpeeled beets to the soup pot. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves & discard. I used an immersion blender & pureed the soup. You can do this in batches in a blender but be careful you do not get burned & be more careful that you don’t splatter magenta soup everywhere.
Once pureed to your liking – add the reserved cubed beets & stir in the balsamic vinegar. Season with S&P.
To serve – garnish liberally with yogurt (or whatever you are using) and lots & lots of dill. Eat it up! Then curse the inevitable pink splatter you find in your kitchen hours after you were sure you cleaned the last of it.