This beet-based soup is known as Borscht, Borsch, or Barszcz in Eastern European culture. It provides a foundation of sour flavors, with a blend of sweet and savory tones. Traditionally, it is made in several ways that depend on animal parts, stock, dairy and/or oils, none of which are optimally healthy additions. To enjoy the best of the beet’s healing and health promoting benefits, the Evolving Wellness version of this soup is made only with whole, real, plant food ingredients, and uses no stocks or oils.

Along with other vegetable additions, this soup provides a meal that is high in healthy carbohydrates and fiber, appropriate in protein and ultra low in fat. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, and naturally low in sodium and free of cholesterol. It can be enjoyed on its own or as an appetizer or side to your other whole-food, plant-based meals.

Characteristics

TYPE: Appetizer, Meal
PREPARATION: < 20 mins
SERVINGS: makes about 6 portions

  • Whole food
  • 100% Plant-Based (Vegan)
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Wheat-free
  • Soy-free
  • Corn-free
  • Oil-free
  • Peanut-free
  • Nut-free
  • Refined Sugar-free

Goodies Needed

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups Organic Beets (diced; ~ 10 medium beets)
  • 8 cups Water
  • 2 Organic Lemons (large, juiced; ~ 1/2 cup of lemon juice)
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Organic Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Unrefined Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt

Optional — Add any or all of the following:

  • Organic Onion (diced)
  • Organic Carrots (diced)
  • Organic Potatoes (diced)
  • Organic Cauliflower (diced)
  • Organic Beet Tops (stalks and leaves)
  • 1 tsp (or more) Organic Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 tsp (or more) Organic Caraway Seeds
  • 1 tsp Organic Cumin and/or Coriander Powder
  • Garnish — fresh, chopped Organic Greens (parsley, kale, beet leaves or chard)

TOOLS:

  • Cutting Board
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Utensils
  • Large 5 Quart Pot
  • Optional: Lemon Reamer

Preparation Steps

  1. Wash your beets, peel them, dice them into bite-sized chunks and transfer into your large pot.

  2. Add the water to your pot. If you are using the fenugreek or caraway seeds, add them to the soup at this time too. If you are adding other vegetables, prepare your carrots and cook with the beets at the same time. Potatoes and cauliflower only need about 10 minutes of cooking in diced forms, so prepare them while the beets are cooking and add them to the soup when there is only 10 minutes of cooking left. Beet tops only require about 5 minutes of cooking.

  3. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to stove and begin to heat on high. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer on low and set your timer for 15 minutes.
  4. Once your timer goes off, carefully check the texture of a beet chunk to see if it is softened up to your liking. Beets and carrots should still have a firm, but softened texture, and not be too soft or mushy. Depending on your stove and preferences, you can cook the soup for another 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and remove the pot from the hot surface.

  5. Prepare your lemons by washing them and roll each one on a flat surface while applying pressure with your hand to help release the juices. Cut the lemons in half, remove any seeds and with the help of your lemon reamer remove all the juice from the lemons into a small bowl. Remove any seeds that may have fallen in and add the lemon juice to your soup. (Vitamin C is very sensitive so do not add it while the soup is cooking.)

  6. Add in the maple syrup, salt, pepper and any other spices to the soup at this time. Stir well and taste, and adjust flavors with additional spices if needed.

  7. Serve fresh with optional garnish, and store leftovers (once cool) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Tips

  • The 8 cups of water to 4 cups of diced beets will provide you with lots of liquid to add in other vegetables. You can even serve the soup with something like an organic brown rice noodle or cooked bean in it, which go great with this soup too. You can always use less liquid (4 to 6 cups of water), if you want just a pure beet soup. With less water, you may also benefit from less lemon juice.
  • The addition of the maple syrup, lemon and spices are what blend the flavors and make this soup “traditionally flavorful” and unique. You can experiment with different spice combinations each time, as listed in the optional ingredients, to see what your favorite version may be.
  • The version of this soup pictured above is beets and potatoes, with a chopped green onion and kale garnish.

Meal Nutritional Benefits

Beets (Roots, Stalks, Leaves)

  • provide healthy carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and are naturally low in fat
  • provide lots of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory benefits
  • provide vitamins, especially vitamin A, C, E, K, and most B vitamins, including folate
  • provide minerals, especially potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc
  • support optimal health, weight, healing, and prevention
  • support healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels
  • support optimal eye health, nervous system health, and digestive health
  • protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes type 2, and other diseases
  • for more information, visit the beet detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods) detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods

Potatoes

  • provide healthy carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and are naturally low in fat
  • provide phytonutrients and antioxidants
  • provide vitamins, especially vitamin C and most B vitamins
  • provide minerals, especially manganese, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and phosphorus
  • support optimal health, weight, healing, and prevention
  • support healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels
  • support the nervous, immune, and digestive systems
  • protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes type 2, and other diseases
  • for more information, visit the potatoes detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods) detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods
  • Health Tip: To enjoy these benefits, eat potatoes in their gently cooked form, without any oils, dairy, or unhealthy condiments, and not in any fried or browned states. High or prolonged heat, frying, and browning contribute to the creation of harmful acrylamide in potatoes.

Lemons

  • provide alkalizing, cleansing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial benefits
  • provide lots of phytonutrients and antioxidants
  • provide some vitamins and minerals, most specifically vitamin C
  • support optimal health, weight, healing, and prevention
  • support healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and liver function
  • protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, infections, and other diseases
  • for more information, visit the lemon detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods

Maple Syrup

  • provides mostly simple carbohydrates (sugars) and about 20% fewer calories than honey
  • provides antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • provides trace amounts of B vitamins
  • provides minerals, especially manganese, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, and magnesium
  • serves as a good, natural sweetener option, which provides some nutrition and health benefits
  • for more info, see the maple syrup overview on organicfacts.net

Cayenne Chili Pepper

  • not a significant source of calories or macronutrients
  • provide lots of phytonutrients, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic properties
  • provides vitamins, especially rich in vitamin A, C, K, and some B vitamins, including folate
  • provides minerals, especially potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium
  • supports optimal health, weight, healing, and prevention
  • supports healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels
  • protects against cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes type 2, infections, and other diseases
  • for more info, see the chili pepper overview on World’s Healthiest Foods

Unrefined Salt

  • unrefined sea salt unrefined Himalayan salt
  • naturally alkalizing
  • a source of over 80 essential and trace minerals
  • supports optimal blood pressure, heart and nervous system health
  • supports optimal health, weight, healing, and prevention
  • for more info, refer to unrefined salt on Green Med Info
  • Health Tip: avoid all forms of refined, white salt and processed foods made with it