Summer Borsch

Now that it's sizzling hot and humid outside, my constant problem is - what to cook??? I have no desire to turn on the oven or to spend more than 20 min in front of the stove. We eat a lot of green salads, tuna salads, chicken salads, simple sandwiches or BBQing outside ( Thank God for my father-in-law who loves BBQ-ing in any weather!) Nevertheless, one absolutely needs ( especially one with kids!) to dedicate some eating time to soups, its healthy for your digestive system and reminds kids that food not only consists of watermelons and blueberries! And ice cream!

Anyways, I made this light summer version of borsch, without any meat or chicken stock. Satisfying veggies in all their glory! Its taste reminded me of classic tomato soup, only it had a lot more texture and a wider variety of vegetables. Sweet and creamy, and soooo good for you!

Summer Borsch

  • 1 large fresh beet, julienned
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 large onion - I use Vidalia sweet onion, but any will do, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, ripe and juicy, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small head of green or Chinese cabbage, chopped ( I find Chinese cabbage more tender so I prefer it)
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • Cooking Oil of your preference
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Sour Cream
  • Fresh herbs ( I like cilantro, dill, fresh scallion combo, basically the more the merrier!)

1. Fill a medium pot with water and put on high heat for the water to boil. ( keep in mind that you will have to add veggies later, so leave some room for it)
2. Meanwhile, saute the onion& garlic in a large skillet with some oil until translucent( enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan), season with salt & pepper.
3. Add carrots & beats, season, saute for another 5-7 min on medium heat.
4. Add tomatoes & tomato paste, work the paste into the veggie mass, add a little water if necessary.
5. When tomatoes soften and paste integrate into the sauce, add cabbage, mix well, season, saute for 5 min.
6. By this point you should have a pinkish/reddish vegetable mix, carrots & beats still crunchy a little bit. This is the time to add this whole thing into a simmering pot of water.
7. Add Bay leaves, reduce heat to very low, and close the lid. Let it simmer for about 20 min.
8. Taste and adjust accordingly, salt if not salty enough, some tomato paste if not sweet enough (this might happen if beats, carrots and/or tomatoes are not ripe enough or not in season)
9. When ready to serve, put a dollop of sour cream in the middle of the bowl, and top it off with a healthy heap of fresh herbs.
10. Fresh garlic bread or croutons complete the dish.

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