Beets may be the foundation of borscht, a hearty sweet-and-sour bowl commonplace in Eastern European cuisines, but there is much more to it than a single vegetable. Root vegetables like celery root and rutabaga are also common in the pot, as are potatoes and thinly sliced cabbage. In this multi-vegetable version you don’t need stock or meat for a full flavor. Use yellow or red beets or a combination for the prettiest soup you may eat this winter. Serve with sour cream and brown bread, and you have a filling supper for a frigid winter evening.
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|1||large onion, chopped|
|2||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|3||stalks celery, diced|
|1||small (1 pound) celery root, cut into ½-inch dice|
|1||small (12 ounces) rutabaga, cut into ½-inch dice|
|5||small (1 pound) red or yellow beets, cut into ½-inch dice|
|1||can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes|
|½||small head green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)|
|2||tablespoons tomato paste|
|3||tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste|
|4||teaspoons sugar, or more to taste|
|2||teaspoons salt, or to taste|
|Black pepper, to taste|
|Sour cream (for garnish)|
|Freshly snipped dill (for garnish)|
1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
2. Add the celery root, rutabaga, beets, tomatoes, cabbage, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and lower the heat.
3. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, if you like. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream and some snipped fresh dill. Sally Pasley VargasSally Pasley Vargas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org