Although there were whispers (okay cries!) of winter weather storming into New York City this week, the days have been mild and so sunny. But that doesn’t stop cool fall weather from being the best time for soup. And since I’m lucky to now live close enough to my sister that we can have regular cooking fests, this week we combined forces and prepared two big pots of cold weather food, enough (and more!) to get us through the week.
My sis stuck with a go-to recipe, a veggie-packed lentil stew, but I was a little stumped on what to make until I saw a big pile of bright beets at the Greenpoint Greenmarket and was reminded of a delicious borscht we recently had. This soup is easy to make, so delicious, and, thanks to the beets’s high dose of vitamins, super healthy. Along with the classic spices, I added ginger, orange zest and juice, and a few tablespoons of a spicy pickle mix to help kick-up the sour flavor and spice. And as we planned, I’ve happily been eating it all week! Whether you’re in the throes of cold weather, or still enjoying fall’s sunshine, it’s a great pick-me-up meal. Enjoy!
Yellow and Red Beet Borscht, adapted from Serious Eats
Yield: 2 quarts
1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-inch piece ginger, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 red beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 yellow beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ medium white cabbage, thinly sliced
2 quarts vegetable stock, plus more as needed
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup pickle juice
½ tablespoon caraway seeds
1 bunch fresh dill
Sour cream (optional)
Warm a large stock pot over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the garlic and ginger. (Rather than mince, I use a fine grater to grate these directly into the pot.) When the ginger and garlic is fragrant, add the carrot and beets. Increase heat to medium and sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the onion and cabbage. (Add the additional olive oil if needed.) Continue to cook until the vegetables are soft, another 10 minutes or so. Zest the orange into the pot, then add the juice and stock, using enough to completely cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and add the vinegar, pickle juice, caraway, and a handful of fresh dill. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are fully cooked. Season with salt and additional vinegar or pickle juice, if needed. Serve topped with a fresh dill spring and a dollop of sour cream.