as a wife to a polish man, i’m quite familiar with this traditional eastern european staple.
it’s a soup made of beets. yes, you read correctly–beets. i remember the first time i was introduced to it. i thought it was strange yet very interesting. in my hispanic culture, beets are eaten on their own with a vinaigrette dressing or sometimes incorporated into potato salads. then i tasted this, and i instantly fell in love. my perspective of beets was turned upside down. my entire life, i had missed out on this incredible ruby red bowl of warm deliciousness.
there are so many variations to this soup. i’ve enjoyed all of them thus far. i came across this recipe from a fellow inspiring blogger, Shira. it instantly caught my eye, because it consists of chunky root veggies, compared to the pureed ones i’ve tasted in the past. i know my hubby isn’t the only one who will appreciate this.
mmm, mmm good! (and definitely not the campbell’s kind of good)
- (2) small-medium red beets for roasting, or one larger one
- (3) tbsp olive oil
- (1) tbsp salt
- (2) cups yellow onion, chopped small (2 small or one large)
- (3-4) medium carrots, peeled or unpeeled & chopped small (2 cups chopped)
- (3) medium yellow fleshed potatoes, peeled and chopped small (3 cups chopped)
- (3) cups canned tomatoes (1 796 ml can)
- (4-5) cups water
- (4+) cups chopped green or savoy cabbage, washed & chopped small
- (4) tbsp honey
- (1) tsp salt
- (1/2) tsp black pepper, or to taste
- (2-3) tbsp apple cider vinegar
- (1) bunch fresh dill, or (2) tbsp dried dill
To start, heat the oven to 350 degrees. To roast beets, simply wrap them in foil one layer thick (no washing required) and prick them with a fork several times. Put the in the heated oven for 45-60 minutes or until tender when pushed. This step can be done days in advance of making this soup and the beets will keep well in the foil or in a container for up to a week or more.
Once the beets are done, put them in a bowl in the sink, unwrap each as you go and one by one with cold water running, rub the skins off the beets with your hands. They will simply slide right off under the water! Chop the beets into a 1/2 to on 1 inch dice and set aside.
To prepare the vegetables, peel and chop each veggie before starting, taking care to chop into a small dice, about 1/2 inch if possible, or bigger as your patience, skill, and desire dictates.
Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onions and (3) tbsp salt and cook the onions until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes & (4) cups water and turn the heat to high. Bring the water to a boil and turn the heat down. Simmer the soup for 8-10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are just tender. Add the cabbage and cook a further 6-8 minutes, until all of the veggies are soft and starting to meld together.
To finish, add the chopped beets, honey, black pepper & remaining salt to taste. Stir and cook a few more minutes on medium heat until well blended and tasting amazing.
Next, using a blender, blend up to half of the soup to a smooth consistency (feel free to add up to a cup more of extra water to get the blending going), leaving the rest in its chunky form. Pour the blended soup into the pot and stir all to combine.
Stir in the chopped dill & cider vinegar at the end and taste to correct seasonings, reserving some to sprinkle on each bowl.
To serve, scoop into bowls and garnish with dill and more freshly ground black pepper & a small drop or two of cider vinegar. To me, the zing of the vinegar adds the most wonderful flavor boosting acidity and I highly recommend trying it this way.
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