As we move from fall into winter, hot soup is welcomed at lunch and supper when we come in from cold outside work. Borscht can be made at any time of year, but I most often make it in the winter, as it’s my favourite use of beets. In the summer it contains zucchini, snap beans, peas, fresh greens, et cetera and in the winter I use everything from celeriac to winter squash in this versatile soup– the common theme always being the beet. I’ve made borscht with only white vegetables (white beets, celeriac, white carrots, potatoes, parsnips), and borscht with gold beets that is a good disguise if someone thinks they don’t like beets (“It’s vegetable soup!”), but tend to pick a giant red cylinder beet which I can zip in my food processor and save the mess. The onions, carrots, and potatoes can be grated in the food processor as well, which makes it quick and cleanup relatively painless.
Of course, I’m of the opinion that my Mom makes the best borscht, so here’s her basic recipe– the best part of the soup is that it changes freely with the seasons, so be sure to add your own touch!