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.
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.”
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Could I use parsnips for this?
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