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Saturday, December 6, 2014

MY FAVORITE VEGAN BORSCHT

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When I published my last post on sprouted wheat bread, I promised to post this soup recipe (it's a little late, I'm afraid!).  This soup has a pretty long history in my life.  Many years ago I read a cookbook by a Russian woman who lived in the United States.  I liked her Borscht recipe very much.  She claimed that it was given to her by someone who had been in the Tsar's army-- thus the name.  Now, this was in my pre-vegetarian days and the soup included beef.  Eventually, in the 1970's, I became more interested in eating vegetarian and I revamped the recipe in a very simple way-- using soy sauce to "beef" up the meatless broth (this was in the days when vegetarian bouillons were not so readily available) and adding 1/2 cup of red split lentils to add protein and body to the soup. I included this recipe in my book "The Fiber for Life Cookbook".

I hadn't changed anything in this recipe since I first "veganized" it, until I made it the other day, when I decided to increase the amount of red split lentils to 1 cup, and I cooked it in my electric pressure cooker, for a change.  It is still as delicious as ever and so simple to make.  Here's the re-vamped recipe, and I hope you like it as much as we do-- it's great for winter meals.

BRYANNA'S MEATLESS “TSAR'S ARMY” BORSCHT
Serves 8   (Can be oil-free)

1/2 tablespoon olive oil (optional)         
1/2 tablespoon dark sesame oil (optional)          
2 large onions, sliced 
2 cloves garlic, chopped        
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves          
8 cups water   
14 ounces canned diced tomatoes and juice (OR about 3/4 cup passata)   
1/2 small head cabbage, cored and shredded or sliced finely (about 4 cups)    
2 beets (fist-size), peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
1 cup split red lentils 
1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari (NOT Bragg's Liquid Aminos-- it doesn't have the umami punch of fermented soy sauce or tamari.)
Finishing:
1 small raw beet, peeled and grated  
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

If you use the oils: Add the two oils to your soup pot over high heat. Add the onions, garlic and celery. Saut√© over medium-high heat until the onion softens a bit. If you prefer not to use oil: place the onion, garlic and celery in a Pyrex or ceramic casserole, cover and microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Add to your soup pot.
Add the water, tomatoes, cabbage, diced beets, soy sauce and lentils. Bring to a boil, turn to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, OR pressure-cook for 45 minutes, using quick-release when it's done. Add the grated raw beets (which brings back the pinky-red color to the soup) and taste for salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Serve with vegan sour cream, store-bought, or try recipe for Tofu Sour Cream.

 Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving, using oil in recipe): 174.9 calories; 12% calories from fat; 2.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 701.6mg sodium; 716.9mg potassium; 31.5g carbohydrates; 7.2g fiber; 9.8g sugar; 24.3g net carbs; 9.5g protein.

Enjoy!


4 comments:

Vegies said...

If I cook this for 2 hours won't the Lentils turn to mush? Making it tomorrow all my favorite ingredients.

Arlene

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Vegies, yes, that's the point-- you don't notice them; they just meld into the soup. Borscht doesn't ordinarily contain lentils-- I added them for vegan protein and to add body to the soup, but not to be discernible, if you see what I mean.

Crystina said...

This was delicious! I'm of Ukrainian descent and have eaten borscht my whole life. The lentils were a really nice touch and sooo much better than the can of baked beans my grandmother sometimes puts into her borscht. Thank you!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

That makes me very happy, Crystina!