After my whirlwind romance with pirogi over the weekend, there was a request for a vegetarian borscht. I actually never made a real borscht, but I made this beet-based years ago to go with pirogi on Christmas Eve. This was pre-blog, and it's more than overdue to bring it on board.
Source: Delicious Magazine | Serves: 4 | Time: 1.5 hr
Changes: used horseradish powder instead of fresh since my store was out; replaced creme fraiche with vegan sour cream; added some vinegar to serve; used whole wheat flour; used vegan butter
2 tbsp EVO
2 leeks, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5¼ cups vegetable stock (homemade to reduce sodium, but also to up the dill even more, since my homemade stock had dill stems in it)
8-10 #beets, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp horseradish powder (I used Penzey's)
½ small bunch fresh dill
1 sweet eating apple, peeled and chopped (gala #apples will do)
A dash of white vinegar, to serve
Vegan sour cream, to serve
Scant 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, plus extra to dust
½ tsp fine salt
5 tbsp cold vegan butter, cubed, plus extra to grease
½ small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
½ small bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
½ small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook gently for 10-12 minutes until very soft.
Add the stock and the beetroot to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes until the beetroot is tender enough to pierce easily with the tip of a sharp knife.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, uncover and leave to cool slightly. Whizz the soup in a blender, in batches, until smooth (see tip), adding the horseradish, dill and apple to one of the batches. Return to the pan, then taste and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Now preheat the oven to 375°F.
To make the dumplings, sift the flour and salt into a food processor, then add the butter and pulse briefly until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Remove the blade from the food processor, then use your fingers to stir in the herbs. Add cold water a tablespoon at a time, mixing it in with your fingertips, until the dough just binds together (you’ll need 2-3 tbsp). Take care not to overwork it. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Pinch off small pieces and roll into balls. Mine were about the size of cocktail meatballs, and I ended up with over a dozen.
Lightly grease a large baking sheet, then put the dumplings on it, spaced a little apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly puffed and golden. Warm the soup if needed, then serve in bowls topped with a dollop of vegan sour cream, a splash of vinegar, and the the herb dumplings.
2 iced coffees
Mini naan with spinach mix and piece of smoked salmon
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 brandy old fashioned