Borscht: The Superfood Meal You've Overlooked
There is no shortage of nutritious one-pot meals out there, but when it comes to packing in the superfoods, few can compare to the classic borscht recipe. This hearty soup has been a dietary staple in Ukraine and Eastern Europe for generations, and for good reason.
At the heart of borscht lies a wealth of nutrient-dense ingredients, including beets, bone broth, beef, and a variety of vegetables. But what really sets this dish apart is its signature hue, a bold and beautiful reddish-purple that comes from the copious amount of beets included in the recipe.
When the weather turns chilly, there's nothing quite like a steaming bowl of borscht to warm you up from the inside out. It's a filling and satisfying meal that is as delicious as it is nourishing, making it a favorite in many households.
Aside from its rich flavor and comforting qualities, it is also renowned for its numerous health benefits. From supporting healthy digestion to boosting immune function, the ingredients in this soup have been linked to a range of positive outcomes.
What is Borscht?
Known by a variety of names such as beet soup or red soup, is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed throughout Eastern Europe for centuries. The name "borscht" actually comes from the word "borshchov," which means "sour soup" in several languages.
While the sour flavor of can vary depending on the recipe, it is often achieved by adding sour cream and fresh dill weed to the soup. This iconic flavor combination is one of the hallmarks of this beloved dish, and a key part of what makes it so unique.
Making the soup is not a quick process - it requires several hours of simmering to allow the flavors to fully develop. However, the end result is well worth the effort. The soup is hearty, nourishing, and incredibly flavorful, making it a perfect dish to feed a large crowd during family holidays and dinners.
And if you're cooking for a smaller group, don't worry - it freezes well and can be stored for later use as a quick and easy dinner option. Simply thaw and reheat for a delicious and satisfying meal whenever you need it.
Superfoods in Borscht
The soup is a literal melting pot of so many superfoods, including:
Beets. Beets have been shown to possibly lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, are a great source of fiber, and my have anti-cancer properties. It's also a great source of rutin, one of our favorite antioxidants!
Bone broth. Bone broth is a collagen mega-source. Cooking it slow and low allows the beef bones to break down its connective tissues, releasing natural collagen. Bone broth can also lead to a healthier immune system, better joints, and improved brain health.
Cabbage. Cabbage is full of nutrients like protein, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, protein, and fiber. Because of its wealth of antioxidants, cabbage can help fight your body from free radical damage.
Carrots. Carrots are loaded with Vitamin A, biotin, potassium, and more. They're cited for helping eye health, heart health, diabetes management, and much more.
If beef isn't your thing, it can also be made with chicken stock (don't forget to boil those bones) and shredded chicken meat.
The beautiful thing about borscht (other than its color) is that it can be customized. If you prefer vegetarian, you can opt for vegetable stock instead bone broth and omit the beef, perhaps adding hearty mushrooms and a couple cans of cannellini or kidney beans for vitamins and protein.
We hope you enjoy our yummy and nutrient-packed recipe!
Traditional Borscht Recipe
Delicious served with Rye Bread!!
2 to 2.5 lbs. bone-in beef (such as short ribs)
10 cups water
1 small onion, rough-chopped
3 large bay leaves
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
1.5 to 2 lbs. beets (about 3 large-sized, peeled and cut into matchsticks)
1 head of red or green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, cut in small rounds (about 1/4 inch thick)
1 medium onion, sliced
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and medium cubed
6-oz. can of tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 fresh dill, finely minced down to viable parts of stems. Reserve some for garnish.
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream (for topping)
Beef/Bone Broth Recipe
Beef/Bone Broth Directions
Preheat large (preferably Dutch oven) pot on stove over medium-high heat. Drizzle with canola oil.
Add short ribs to pot and sear for 2-3 minutes, until browned on all sides.
Add water, onion, bay leaves, and peppercorn. Bring to a simmer and lower heat to low.
Simmer for 2-4 hours, until meat is extremely fork tender and falling off the bone.
Strain beef broth, discarding peppercorns and onions. Discard bones and set beef aside for later. Save the broth.
In same pot, drizzle 2 Tbsp. canola oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté until softened for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add smashed, minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Add beets, continue sautéing for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add cabbage. Cook and sauté until softened.
Over medium-low heat, add tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper, stirring until tomato paste is evenly dispersed, about 5 minutes.
Break beef into small pieces and add to the pot.
Stir in broth (enough to cover all veggies, but more if you like) and add potatoes.
Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30-35 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender.
Stir in dill weed. Serve hot with a small spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle with extra dill.
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