A culinary gift from Ukraine, borscht is a veggie-laden, hearty, warming soup that is coloured perfectly for the season. This version adds chickpeas to make each spoonful even more substantial and has a punchy yogurt sauce for a finishing touch. We’d dare say that the soup tastes even better after a day or two, which is great news, since this recipe makes a big pot of nutritional goodness.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
4 medium red beets, peeled and chopped into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
2 medium red-skinned unpeeled potatoes, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cups (750 mL) shredded red cabbage
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
2 tsp (10 mL) paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
5 cups (1.25 L) salt-free vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked or canned chickpeas
2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup (125 mL) baby red Russian kale, optional
1/2 cup (125 mL) plain yogurt
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped dill
2 Tbsp (30 mL) prepared horseradish
Heat oil in a 6 L large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt; heat until onion has softened and is beginning to brown; about 5 minutes. Add beets, potatoes, and carrots to pan; heat for 5 minutes.
Add cabbage and garlic; stir and cook for another 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, honey, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon to pan; stir and heat for 30 seconds.
Place broth and bay leaf in pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and balsamic vinegar and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 20 minutes. Fold in baby kale, if using.
In bowl, stir together yogurt, dill, horseradish, and a pinch of salt.
Place soup in serving bowls and top with a swirl of yogurt sauce.