Quick & Easy Vegetarian Borscht ~ From Russia, With Love

Quick & Easy Vegetarian Borscht

Today is Meatless Monday.   I wanted to try to keep up with the Pink Week theme because of Valentine's Day.  No easy task when you are talking about creating a meal.  What to make?  What to make??

The logical choice was to make Borscht, since the beets would supply the pink color.  This dish has been around for generations & when served hot, is winter comfort food for so many.   (I think it's vibrant hue adds to it's wintry appeal)  OK.... next challenge.  It was too cold to go to the shops to get supplies.  Hmmm... I had to get really creative with the items I had on hand - in the fridge & in the pantry.  Happy to say, I was able to come up with a quick, easy & tasty way to make this colorful & hearty dish.  Yipee!

I added TVP 'Beef Chunks' to give the Borscht a 'meaty' feel, but you could just as easily skip it if you don't have any or don't like them.  I know using canned beets & sauerkraut is not traditional, but it is what was available in my pantry & worked out just fine.  It made the prep super easy & I just love that.  Also, I was all out of tomato paste, so I used ketchup as a stand in. (oh, the horror - don't judge :))  If you read other Borscht recipes, they call for tomato paste, sugar & vinegar.... add a bit of water & you've got - ketchup. Works for me.  Not having the exact ingredients will almost never stop me from making a recipe.  That's what being creative in the kitchen is all about! 

Borscht ~ From Russia, with love...  (heehee ~ Corny, I know ~ but I couldn't resist)  :)

Vegetarian Borscht
TVP Beef Chunks

4 cups        broth (use your favorite kind)
1 cup          red potato, chopped
1 cup          carrot, chopped
1/2 cup        celery , chopped
1/2 cup        onion , chopped
1/2 cup        TVP Beef Chunks  (optional)
3 tbs            ketchup (or tomato paste & a little sugar & vinegar)
2                  bay leaves
2 tsp            sugar
1 tsp            dill weed 
1 tsp            smoked paprika
1/2 tsp          caraway seeds, crushed
Add first 12 ingredients

1  14 oz. can     sliced beets w/juice, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups         sauerkraut
1 cup                 yogurt or sour cream
-                        dill weed for garnish
-                        salt & pepper to taste                

1)  put first 12 ingredients into pot & bring to boil

2)  once boiled, reduce heat & simmer for 15 minutes

3)   then add beets, any beet juice  & sauerkraut, stir

4)   simmer 5 more minutes & add salt/pepper to taste

5)   serve topped with dollop of yogurt/sour cream &
      dill weed

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