One of the things about being a food geek is you get to wrangle your way into food-related holidays and traditional family dinners. Because I love handmade peroheh (perogies) and had hinted I’d like to try making them, Alicia invited me to pitch in and pinch peroheh with her for Ukrainian Christmas Eve. It was a lot of fun and a big task that took many hands. They were incredible and the pictures below don’t do them justice. My contribution to dinner was meatless beet borscht. It’s not traditional to puree the soup, but I’m not a huge fan of chunky vegetables in my soup so I opted to do it. I did however add some braised red cabbage and roasted beets to give the soup texture. -bvox
Meatless Beet Borscht
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 beets, 3 peeled and cubed, 2 whole roasted
- 1 medium potato, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced (or celery root)
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 parsnip, diced
- 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 2 Tbsp dill, chopped
- 1 tsp each of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Wrap two of the whole beets in tin foil and roast in the oven at 350 F for about 45 minutes. When cool, peel, dice and set aside. Saute 1 cup of the red cabbage in a bit of butter at low heat until soft. Season with salt, pepper and a squirt of lemon juice. Set aside.
Saute onion in butter and oil until soft. Add garlic, beets, potato, carrot, parsnip and celery and cook about 10 minutes (add salt and pepper to season at this point – I also added 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and two bay leaves, which I removed later). Add 1 cup of the red cabbage and cook another 5 minutes.
Add stock and tomato juice and simmer 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and discard. Let the soup cool for a few minutes, then blend until smooth with a hand blender or transfer to the blender and carefully blend at high speed until smooth. Add lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and chopped dill. Taste and adjust seasoning at this point. Add roasted diced beets and braised red cabbage.
Garnish with sour cream and fresh dill.
And the Peroheh!