Borscht

Image by Deb Garlick

This savoury roasted beet soup is made special with the addition of spicy chorizo sausage and tart green apples. Buy the best chorizo you can afford, it makes a difference. And, if you have the time to make your own chicken stock, do so—there’s simply no comparison to homemade.  

A dollop of sour cream, bright crisp radishes and visually contrasting pistachio nuts dress up this simple rustic soup.

When preparing the beets, don’t toss the nutritious greens! They’re delicious sautéed with garlic and tossed with lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Makes 8 cups

1 1/2 pounds of beets, with peel, greens trimmed and set aside for another use

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

Kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 cups chopped red cabbage, about 1/2 head 

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped

3 1/2 ounces dry chorizo, chopped into 1/2” pieces 

6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade   

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp white sugar

Garnish

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1/4 cup pistachio nuts

2 radishes, thinly sliced 

Fresh mint

Preheat oven to 350°F

Place the beets on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and roast until the beets can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife. This can take up to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the beets.  When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and grate them.

Heat the oil in a 5 1/2 quart casserole over medium heat; add the onions, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about 20 seconds. Add the cabbage, apple, chorizo, stock, vinegar, cloves sugar and 1 tsp kosher salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook over medium-low heat, partially covered, until the cabbage is tender, about 30-40 minutes. Add the roasted grated beets.

Taste and season with additional salt or vinegar, if desired.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and garnish with pistachios, radishes and fresh mint, if desired.

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