Polish Borscht (Beet soup)
Makes about 4-5 cups.
4 medium sized beets
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carton low sodium vegetable stock
1 tsp sugar or honey or 1/2 packet of truvia
1-2 tbsp red wine or apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1. Heat oven to 400. Scrub beets; cut off beet greens; place beets on a large sheet of aluminum foil; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Wrap beets tightly in aluminum foil (making a packet) and place packet on a baking sheet. Roast for about 40 minutes. (This can be done ahead, or you can substitute a large can of beets for the roasted beets and proceed directly to the next step, if short on time).
2. Meanwhile, saute the chopped onion in the olive oil over medium heat. When the onion is translucent and soft, add the vegetable stock, sugar, vinegar and garlic powder to the pan. Simmer.
3. Quarter the cooked beets, add to the stock, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.
4. Carefully puree the hot soup and serve. (An immersion blender works best).
1. I like to add a dollop of dairy (cream, sour cream, creme fraiche, or plain greek yogurt) and a little fresh dill to the soup before serving.
2. It is very traditional to add a few pieces of boiled waxy potato to the soup prior to serving, but this soup is so hearty that I don't bother.
I leave on the beet skin because it contains a lot of vitamins and nutrients, and once its pureed, you don't even know its there. However, if you peel the beets after roasting, it will produce a smoother puree later. The best way to peel the beets, I've found, is to place one beet at a time in a bowl full of cool water in the sink, then use a vegetable peeler to peel them in the water (your hands, the beets and the peeler should be submerged!). The beet juice dissipates in the water and doesn't stain your hands, cutting board, clothes, etc.