I am a latecomer to the whole beet thing. It’s not that I didn’t like them. I just didn’t know them.
Turns out I am not alone. According to The Salt, National Public Radio’s food blog, 2011 was a pretty good year for beta vulgaris.
Daniel Zwerdling writes:
Some farmers markets say beet sales have surged since January, and they’ve doubled over the past few years. And it seems like every restaurant across the country serves beets these days — especially the ubiquitous beet salad.
Does all this constitute a beet renaissance? Irwin Goldman says, absolutely, yes. He breeds beets at theUniversity ofWisconsin, where he’s a professor of horticulture. He has been waiting for this renaissance for years.
“I think it’s just wonderful to see because it’s just an incredibly fabulous vegetable that I think is totally underappreciated,” he says.
Soupalooza couldn’t agree more and, to that end, we decided to make … why, borscht, of course!
We found an easy recipe in “The Big Book of Soups and Stews” by Maryana Vollstedt and we made it even easier by using pre-shredded coleslaw cabbage. The hardest part of the whole recipe is cutting up the canned beets without making a mess of epic proportions in your kitchen.
Beets, after all, do stain things, especially clothing so don’t wear your anything you care about when preparing them. If you do manage to stain something, ehow.com has a good article on how to remove the stain, using bread of all things!
In any event, give this soup a try. It is good both hot or cold, but definitely needs a dollop of sour cream when serving either way.
½ head (about 1 ½ pounds) cabbage, core removed shredded (I used two packages of coleslaw mix)
1 carrot, chopped
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14 ½ ounces) diced tomatoes with juice, slightly pureed
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (14 ½ ounces) pickled beets, coarsely chopped, with juice
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Sour cream for topping
In a large soup pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients except sour cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add more stock if soup is too thick. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
From “The Big Book of Soups and Stews” by Maryana Vollstedt