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Golden Beet Borscht

Golden Beet Borscht

We were blown away the first time we made this soup – it is delicate but full of flavor, satisfying and savory but full of the sweetness of perfectly cooked vegetables, and wonderfully adaptable for colder or warmer seasons. It quickly became one of our year-round go-to dishes for retreat suppers! Traditionalists can serve the soup with a dollop of herbed sour cream, but the original recipe from the world-famous Bay Area vegan restaurant Millennium offers a delicious non-dairy alternative.

Makes 8 servings

 Adapted from a recipe by Eric Tucker & John WesterDahl, from “The Millennium Cookbook”

 INGREDIENTS:

 Soup

  • 2 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup dry sherry, white wine, or nonalcoholic wine
  • 4 medium yellow beets, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp toasted and ground caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 3 1/2 TBS white miso, or more to taste
  • 1 TBS sherry vinegar (opt)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh dill
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Tofu Dill Sour Cream

  • 3 1/4 oz silken tofu
  • 1 Tbs white miso, to taste (optional)
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Tbs minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, to taste
  • ¾ cup water, plus more as needed

DIRECTIONS:

If you are making your own stock from scratch, begin by making your stock. A light, soft broth is nice in the summer, whereas a hearty, dark roasted broth can be nice in the winter. If you have a nice pre-made stock that you enjoy, feel free to use it as a short cut!

Coat the bottom of a large soup pot with a thin layer of sunflower oil. Place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onions, carrots, and sherry, and cook until the onions are soft, about 15 minutes (we’re keeping the vegetables nice and light, so no need to do any heavy browning on the vegetables before adding the cooking liquid). Add the beets, bay, caraway, thyme and vegetable stock. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the beets are very tender.

Meanwhile, make the tofu topping. In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. Thin out with as much of the water as needed. Set the topping aside in a bowl, and garnish with dill or other herbs immediately prior to service.

To finish the soup, pull one cup of broth into a small prep bowl, and whisk in the miso paste to make a slurry. Pour the miso broth into the soup and stir to combine. Add vinegar and the fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. Alternately, if you would like a blended soup rather than a brothy soup, blend prior to adding the dill.