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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 vegan yogurt here. You could use a vegan sour cream 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!
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Vegan Roasted Beet & Balsamic Borscht
4 HUGE beets (or 10-12 small ones) – halved or quartered
4 carrots – chopped
1 red bell pepper – diced
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 and/or scallions – as garnish
Vegan yogurt or vegan sour cream 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, bell pepper & 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 vegan yogurt or sour cream and lots & lots of dill and maybe some diced scallions. 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.