I confess … for many years I was a vegan and then a raw foods vegan and then a vegan again and then a pescatarian and then a lactovegetarian. Borscht was one of my favorite soups throughout all those dietary experiments … partly due to the color, partly the taste, and partly nostalgia. Here’s to creating a quick and easy AIP borscht.
After starting the paleo autoimmune protocol I made a borscht using the beets left over from beet kvass. The kvass itself was tasty and nourishing but the beets weren’t the right choice for a borscht, at least not the one that I made. It was wildly unsuccessful so I’ve been a bit reluctant to try again. Until now …
All the veggies that go towards making this hearty and nourishing soup are colorful (except for the parsnips) but the prize for rich beauty must go to the beets. The deep wine color imparted by the beets makes this soup not only delicious but gorgeous.
Having made borscht in my pre-AIP days using potatoes and green peppers I was concerned that my quick and easy AIP borscht might not live up to expectations but, this borscht is absolutely delicious and leaves nothing to be desired.
Growing up in a teensy community known as Hatzic, without relatives living nearby I yearned for that close connection fostered by a shared history. Every summer my Mom and Dad would squeeze themselves, my sister and I and our belongings into a little Vauxhall to make the day long trip to Rossland, BC where twelve cousins lived. This historic and incredibly beautiful small town is high up in the mountains in an area of British Columbia known as the Kootenays.
My sister and I always rode in the back where we would fight.
“Mommmm … she touched me.” or “Mommmm … she’s on my side.” Remember those days? Or … maybe you are now the parent who has to listen to this.
We would stay most of the summer in Rossland and play with our cousins closest in age to us. Such fun! Such wonderful memories. Poking along on the railroad tracks, exploring back roads with my sister and cousin in a 1928 Model A Ford driven by my uncle. Even now I get choked up if I think about cresting the hill that starts down into Rossland.
Photo of Rossland in the winter courtesy of Red Mountain Ski Resort.
The journey to Rossland passed through an area settled by Russian Doukhobors, a peace loving people who were famous for their lactovegetarian borscht. As adults, we would stop in Grand Forks and have a bowl of traditional borscht. In my mind, the two are connected: exploring with cousins and a bowl of Doukhobor borscht.
Traditional Doukhobor borscht uses cabbage, tomatoes, and heavy cream. My quick and easy AIP borscht is not remotely traditional but it is yummy.
Quick and easy AIP borscht:
The vegan borscht recipe that I originally used is from Ron Pickarksi’s cookbook “Friendly Foods” and is the inspiration for this recipe. His instructions called for julienning all the veggies so the first time that I made this I conscientiously julienned everything. Unfortunately, I had quadrupled the recipe so it was close to two hours before all the vegetables were cut into neat little matchsticks. Arghhh.
I know that all of us are short on time so I am not asking you to julienne anything. For this recipe, I chopped everything with a food processor using the S blade. Everything that is, except for the onion which I diced. This is the food processor that I own and it does a great job but it is more expensive than some others. See it at amazon.ca or amazon.com. If you are only using the S blade I think that this less expensive food processor from amazon.ca or amazon.com would meet your needs.
The original recipe called for potatoes which I subbed with parsnips. I know what you’re thinking … oh my goodness that will be too sweet. I added one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and it cut the sweet taste. Pumpkin replaces tomato paste. The taste … amazing.
As seen on Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable #146
Delicious and nourishing borscht.
30 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
4 medium beets (1 lb 4 ounces)
2 medium parsnips (1 pound)
2 medium carrots (1/2 pound)
1 large yellow onion
green cabbage (1/2 pound)
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
4 cups filtered water (or turkey/chicken broth)
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
2 large cloves garlic (minced)
2-3 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus one tablespoon solid fat (I used coconut oil)
2. Dice the onion (1/4 inch or so).
3. Saute each veggie in a skillet in 1 tablespoon of the solid fat.
5. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and saute lightly until translucent but not browned.
6. Add the rest of the ingredients to the soup pot and simmer until fork tender (about 30 minutes).
1. weigh the veggies after the tops and tips have been removed.
2. Chop the veggies until they are about 1/4 inch in diameter but not yet turned to mush.
3. Any compliant solid fat will do: coconut oil, tallow, lard.