These types of colours – dark pink and red – are particularly difficult to photograph. This would be why today’s soup looks like a luminescent bowl of magenta gloop and not what it should be – a big fat borscht. Today’s [Day 17] Vegan MOFO theme was to cook a colour I rarely cook. And as I try to make as much savoury food for my blog (although desserts are awesome no one really lives off them, and it’s much harder to find inspiration for dinner!) I figured I never cook any pink. There isn’t much pink in the world of savoury, outside of chards and beets, which is why the colour never takes centre stage. But this pink bowl shows that you can change this! You can become the pink.
Borscht is an Eastern European soup dish (a cuisine which hasn’t really made an appearance in my kitchen, either). It is served hot or cold (mine here is a cold soup). The flavours are a combination of sweetly earth beets, warm spices and sour elements. The sourness is particularly noteworthy. I think the original soups used fermented beets and likely a lot of meat. The stock I used was vegetable, but originally the soup would use stronger and beefier stocks, and a vegan option would be a mushroom stock. But because I’ve made this a cold soup, I thought a lighter stock was best.
Here’s technicolour borscht. Maybe one day I’ll buy a camera and these horrid pictures will be replaced.
- 6-8 small beetroots
- 1½ litres vegetable stock
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ½ cup vegan yoghurt
- 1 lemon, medium, juiced
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- Cut the stems off your beets. Place the whole beets on a baking tray, cook them at 180*C for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute, until able to be handled.
- Meanwhile, heat the stock to a low simmer. Add the two spices. Cook for two minutes then remove from the heat.
- Using a small knife, peel off the beetroot's skin. It should come off easily.
- Halve the beets, then place in a blender, along with some of the stock. Blend until the beets are liquid. Return to the stock mix and stir well.
- Return ½ cup of the beet mix to the blender, and add the yoghurt. Blend, and then pour the pink into the red. Stir well.
- Having baked the beets, blended with the stock/spices and added yoghurt, all that now needs doing is to let it cool. Once the soup is at room temperature, it should be refrigerated for an hour and served cold.