The Alaska palette is blues and grays.  Add green in summer, add white in winter.   It is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but for a girl who loves red, sometimes it’s enough already with the cold colors.  Perhaps that’s why I have become increasingly interested in beets over the years.  They just look warm, and make them into a soup on a cold day and they actually are warm.  Considering the other benefits that I discussed in my beet tahini post, heck, beets might even make enough heat for two.   But I digress.

This particular recipe was inspired by a Borscht at the Two Sister’s Bakery in Homer, Alaska.  I don’t remember what time of year it was that they were offering it.   I know we were chilled, but sadly that doesn’t help with the date.  Not even a little bit.  Anyhow, what luck to find a vegan Borscht on the menu, piping hot with little red jewels of beets and flecks of caraway seeds.   You can always count on the Sisters for a memorable meal, and this remake will not disappoint.

[recipe title=”Borscht” servings=”8-10″ time=”1hr” difficulty=”easy”]

1 large onion, diced
3 large beets, peeled and diced (~4-5 cups)
5 medium carrots, peeled and diced (~2-3 cups)
3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced (~3 cups)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
5-6 cups water
Salt, to taste

Sauté onions in water until soft in a large stock pot over medium-high heat, adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking (7-10 minutes).  When onions are soft and translucent, add thyme and caraway seeds.  Sauté one minute more.  Add beets, carrots and 4 cups of water.   Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add parsnips and potatoes, plus more water if needed to just barely cover all of the vegetables.  Cover and simmer until all root vegetables are soft, ~15-20 minutes.  Season with salt to taste.  Serve and enjoy!


The use of water rather than a vegetable stock is intentional here.  You will be surprised at how sweet and flavorful the broth becomes on its own!

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