A hearty, well-rounded, sweet, tangy, savory, hot dill vegetarian borscht loaded with fava beans, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes with a kick of Aleppo peppers and cool sour cream, the combination surprisingly goes very well together and will have you going for more.
There's a Pepper for That
I would say 99% of the dishes I cook at home are spicy. Why? I'm a spice enthusiast. And I don't do it to overpower the dish, but just enough to feel like home, where various hot peppers roam freely.
There's just something about spicy foods; they taste better with hot peppers. I love the traditional borscht but wanted to see what pepper would go great with borscht that would not be overpowering. Aleppo Pepper won! So, let's get cooking.
This vegetarian borscht is a tasty and nutritious recipe that can be spiced up with Aleppo peppers for an extra zing. In addition, it's a classic Eastern European dish that combines simple ingredients like carrots, potatoes, onions, cabbage, tomatoes, and beans to create a hearty and flavorful soup.
Surprisingly, adding ginger will even spice it up and bring complexity to the mix, while dill provides a delightful contrast in flavor. Furthermore, with just a few steps and basic cooking skills, you can quickly whip up a delicious bowl of this vegetarian borscht for a complete meal in no time!
Try Green Lentil Kale Stew and Plant-Based: Italian Sausage with Spicy Creamy Lentil Pasta one-pot vegetarian meals. And if you are a beets lover, you must check out the Air Fryer Chicken Breast with Hot Honey Glazed Vegetables recipe.
What about some dessert? Check out the simple Mango Cookies and Cream and Easy Peanut Chocolate Caramel Candy Bar No-Churn Ice Cream recipes.
If you are a fan of heaty red beets, try the
From Eastern Europe to the Middle East
Aleppo peppers, originating from Syria and the surrounding region, are a unique variety of red chili pepper with an unmistakable flavor, making it the perfect choice for a borscht soup recipe, averaging around 10,000.
On the Scoville scale, they pack just enough heat to add a spicy kick to recipes without overpowering the other flavors. In addition, with earthy notes of cumin and paprika, Aleppo peppers can be used in virtually any dish as a flavorful alternative to typical crushed red pepper flakes.
Another reason for adding cumin to the vegetarian borscht is that they complement each other very well, bringing something unique to the best borscht recipe.
For the Seasoning Liquid Mixture
Pick fresh dill leaves and chop them fine. This will not take too long since the leaves on the dill are very thin. Then, you will mix this with minced garlic, white sugar, apple cider vinegar, and soy sauce. Just the seasoning alone is an entirely different version than the traditional Ukranian borscht; this is to help enhance the taste of the soup without using any meat or beef stock.
See the vegetarian borscht recipe card for quantities.
For the Soup Base
Start cooking the onions in olive oil and thyme until slightly golden brown in a large soup pot. Season with salt and pepper, then add the tomato and ginger paste. This will be the foundation for the deep flavor build. Then add the vegetable broth, spice mix, herbs, coriander, cumin, Aleppo pepper flakes, and a bay leaf. Now, for the best part, the root vegetables. Add the carrots, potatoes, shredded bets, and Greek Gigantes beans with all of the tomato-flavored juice. In addition, serve the warm soup with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill for creaminess and flavors of fresh herbs.
Find quantities in the vegetarian borscht recipe card.
Pick the dill leaves right above the main stem.
Then, chop small in a rocking motion.
Slice cabbage about 1 inch thick.
Then, dice into 1-inch pieces.
Slice carrots about ½-inch thick.
Then dice ½-inch thick.
Slice potatoes about ¾-inch thick.
Then dice about ¾-inch thick.
Use a box grater to grate the peeled beets.
Also, use the medium grate.
Have extra beets and carrots? Try making this delicious Pickled Vegetable Pepper Slaw.
- Sour Cream - Use plain Greek yogurt, maybe a little acidic.
- Dried Thyme - One sprig of fresh thyme to ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme.
- Olive Oil - Try any neutral-tasting vegetable oil, like canola oil.
- Tomato Paste
- Oven-Roasted Tomatoes. Tomato paste has a sweet, savory flavor. In addition, if you wish to replace this ingredient, try oven-roasted tomatoes. To begin with, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take four plum tomatoes or a cup of Campari tomatoes. These tend to be more on the sweet side. Then, cut them into halves.
- Toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and added sugar is optional. Then, place them on a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place them on the center rack of your oven and bake for 30 minutes. They will also be a little dry with light golden brown skin.
- Tomato Sauce - You can use tomato sauce, but it will be a little bit on the acidic side. You may also add sugar and cook the tomato sauce down a little longer with the onions. Ensure to occasionally stir the caramelizing ingredients to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Ginger Paste - You can use fresh ginger, the size of the length of your thumb. Then peel the skin with a spoon and mince finely, or use a mortar and pestle. However, you can chop a handful of peeled ginger in the food processor.
- Gigantes Beans - These are Greek-styled fava beans in a tomato dill-flavored sauce, which goes well with this recipe. This bean can be replaced with another type of bean, such as fava bean, lentil, or white beans of the same amount as the recipe.
- Brussel Sprouts. Try adding Brussels sprouts. Rinse them with water, trim the stems, and quarter them so that they will easily break apart during the cooking process.
- Red Cabbage. You can try substituting green cabbage for red cabbage. In addition, red cabbage tends to have a more peppery taste.
- Napa Cabbage. Napa Cabbage leaves tend to be more tender due to their tender leaves. It may take less time to cook.
- Aleppo Peppers - They are less spicy regarding heat level than red pepper chili flakes and provide more flavor.
Change Heat Level - Modify the vegetarian borscht recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Creamy Non-Dairy Borscht - For an exciting non-diary take on this vegetarian borscht recipe. Take it to the next level by omitting the sour cream, and try adding coconut milk for a creamy texture instead. As a result, this will compliment the soup's chunky vegetables and a great contrast to the sweet and tangy flavor.
- Garlicky Greens on Top - Add some contrast by adding them. This will be sauteed separately and added on top. You can also use kale, Swiss chard, or mustard greens. Heat olive oil in a pan, then add coarsely chopped fresh garlic on medium-low heat. Allow the oil to infuse the garlic while cooking it. Add the washed and trimmed greens and cook until tender with salt and pepper.
- Golden Borscht - Try using golden beets instead of red beets. This will give a vibrant orange color. Take it a step further and puree the soup for a refreshing chilled golden beet soup.
Have you tried the Pumpkin Gnocchi Chicken Soup yet?
- Mixing Bowl - Used for making the seasoning liquid mixture.
- Large Dutch Oven - Cast iron Dutch ovens are heavy and great for retaining equal heat for soups, preventing scorching. You can use a large soup pot if you do not have a Dutch oven.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, place the vegetarian borscht in a 2-inch shallow pan to cool down quickly. Then, store in an air-tight sealing container. The soup will last for up to four days.
- Freezer - First, follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, you can place it in the freezer.
- Pureed Soup Alternative
- You can puree the soup after it has cooled down in the refrigerator.
- Pour it into a labeled freezer resealable bag.
- Place it on a wide tray and lay it flat to freeze.
- Once solid, remove the pan and stack to freeze.
- Place in the refrigerator to thaw. Because it was stored flat, it will thaw out faster.
- Preparing Beets - Prepare your area when prepping beets; you'll want to use an easy-cleaning cutting board that you can rinse immediately after, in addition to the tools. To prevent items from staining. In addition, I recommend rinsing the items immediately after use.
- Soy Sauce - Soy sauce will give this vegetarian borscht a deep, round flavor from the umami.
- Umami - Umami is part of the categories of tastes (e.g., sour, sweet, salty, savory, etc.) In addition, this particular taste is related closely to "salty" and gets its flavor from monosodium glutamate (MSG).
- MSG - Monosodium glutamate is recognized as primarily safe by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). But if you still have concerns, I suggest you research this ingredient.
Frequently Asked Questions
Borscht recipes usually have some type of meat, like beef or pork. However, this vegetarian soup recipe uses Greek gigante beans, which are baked beans stewed with tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and thyme.
This makes an ideal companion with the ingredients of borscht and is an alternative to adding only the fava beans for a good flavor. And can still be enjoyed with a dollop of sour cream to make the perfect meal.
When you think of Borscht, you think of Russia. This may be because they produced more beets than any other country worldwide. But if you research, you will see that Ukraine is usually cited as Borscht's place of birth.
Today, it is part of many ethnic groups, from Greek Orthodox to the Jewish community, all part of Eastern Europe, with New York having the largest of this group. You can even find this sweet red and sour beet soup in Hong Kong due to Russian exiles making China their new home in the 1920s and 1930s.
Looking for other vegetarian recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other soup recipes like this? Try these:
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- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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