Jun 6

Probiotic Root Vegetable Soup

Probiotic Root Vegetable Soup

Early Food Impressions

Beet Soup with sauerkraut or “borscht” is one of my earliest solid food memories (outside of having it relayed to me that I loved chocolate ripple ice cream so much as a 2-year old that I would check the trash bin in the morning for telltale signs of consumption). Making a probiotic root vegetable soup by adding fermented vegetables to this recipe is a great way to add healthy bacteria (probiotics) to your meals. We love to have this soup through the winter months. It is easy to make, and. Plus, when beets are in season, it is also very affordable.

Probiotic Root Vegetable Soup

This version of beet soup with sauerkraut or “borsht” was made from three types of beets + plant yogurt + sauerkraut juice. Pureed root vegetable soups are a staple in our home and are, therefore, a basis for many recipes. In their simplest version, these veggies are boiled in soup stock with spices and then pureed. Besides, toppings of all sorts can be used from seeds to radishes to grated lemon peel to sprouts. We add fermented vegetables based on what we have stored in the fridge from our last batch of fermented foods.

Childhood Memories

I remember coming inside after playing in the afternoon sun with my friend. My dad had prepared the soup and asked us to try it; however, as I recall, my friend had a polite “taste” and didn’t want anymore. For me, it was the beginning of my love of beets. It is a very versatile vegetable.
To the point, research shows that when we are given a broader exposure to flavors when we are young or even in utero, our palate is more expansive. That is to say that when parents eat the same meal as the child, this helps too (Taylor, 2019). Outside of missing all kinds of great flavors, there can be nutritional ramifications long term also.

Borsht is a sour soup common in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Outside of beets, is can be associated with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel, rye, and cabbage. 

“Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves, and umbels of common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name.” (WIKIPEDIA)

“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.”

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
Probiotic Root Vegetable Soup

Taylor CM1, Emmett PM1. Picky eating in children: causes and consequences. Proc Nutr Soc. 2019 May;78(2):161-169. doi: 10.1017/S0029665118002586. Epub 2018 Nov 5.

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5 from 1 vote

Probiotic Root Vegetable Soup

A blend of root vegetables and fermented foods.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Eastern European
Keyword: Beets, Fermented Foods
Servings: 4 people
Serving Size:
Calories: 130


  • 2 cups fresh beets with the outer skin removed and sliced into larger chunks
  • 1/2 cup diced celery can be omitted
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot can be omitted
  • 2 cups vegetable broth use the low sodium vegan ones then you have more control over the salt content
  • 1 diced medium potato this will be approx 1 cup
  • 1 tsp diced shallot/green onion/leek
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sauerkraut juice + fermented veggies
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk yogurt optional as topping at the end or blended in


  • Place the shallots, carrots, celery and spices into a large sauce pan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of broth (this is a technique known as water saueeing)
  • Sauté the veggies and spcies in the broth on medium heat for 5 min.
  • Add beets, remaining broth and potatoes.
  • Bring to boil and then turn to medium heat. Cook until veggies are soft which will be about 20 min. This usually means you can put a fork easily into them.
  • Puree until desired consistency. You can use a counter top blender or immersion blender that goes into the soup pan. Be careful blending as the soup will be hot.
  • Add sauerkraut juice and additional fermented vegetables.
  • Top with fresh dill and almond yoghurt.
  • The recipe can be varied in many ways with the vegetables and toppings. Experiment a little and see where it takes you.
  • Serve with sourdough bread croutons for an extra delicious treat.
Please note that the actual calories may vary due to ingredients used. 

Dr. Siri Chand 


May your time with the plants be nourishing!

  1. Ann says:

    5 stars
    Could I use parsnips for this?

    • Dr. Siri Chand says:

      Yes! Parsnips actually blend up really wonderfully though they do have a slightly bitter taste. You can counteract this with a little extra virgin olive oil added at the end.
      Dr. Siri Chand

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