Thursday, November 21, 2013

quickie red beet soup :: $25 vegan dollar store challenge

I grew up eating loads of barszcz, or red beet soup. It's a common Polish and Jewish [aka borscht], comfort food, famous for its stunning magenta hue. If you don't like beets but want to incorporate them into your diet, red beet soup is a good choice, because the broth you use waters down beets' inherent earthy taste – which I happen to love. It's subtly sweet, and how can you not love pink foods?

You can't beat borscht
I bought a can of red beets as part of the $25 Vegan Dollar Store Challenge and used some of the beets as salad toppers. I decided to make red beet soup using dollar store soy milk, the last bits of canned beets and a few roasted beets I had via my CSA share [to roast beets, simply wrap them individually in foil and place in a 400 degree oven until soft, anywhere from 30-45 minutes, depending on the size].

Incidentally, I was a guest on the Marilu Henner Show yesterday and she asked about the Vegan Dollar Store Challenge, so kudos to Melody for starting it. If you want to listen to the interview, you can do so here [I come in at around 36:00]. Marilu is such an inspiration and is so down-to-earth; in addition to being a famous, gorgeous actress, she is also a health food guru. Please check out her radio show.

Okay kids, here's the barszcz recipe. I think you'll love it because, in addition to being frugal [can't beat about 35 cents a serving], it's also pathetically simple. Enjoy!

Quickie Red Beet Soup [aka Dollar Store Borscht]


  1. 1 T oil [I used olive oil]
  2. 1 large red or yellow onion, chopped
  3. 1 can red beets, drained and chopped [or 2-3 medium beets, peeled and sliced, or peeled and roasted; you can also use a combination of canned and fresh]
  4. 1 quart non-dairy milk [I used organic light soy milk from the dollar store]
  5. 1 tsp white vinegar
  6. Loads of black pepper
  7. Salt, to taste [up to 1 tsp; this soup is bland without salt]

Serves 4, about 35 cents per serving [Caveat: if you don't shop at Whole Foods]

Heat oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add everything else and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until everything is soft, about 30 minutes.

Puree carefully in blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Serve as is, or the way I enjoyed it growing up, with a few cooked potato chunks in the center of the soup.


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4 comments:

Andrea said...

I'm very tempted to serve this as a first course for Thanksgiving. It's not the dollar store, but I just learned that Trader Joe's sells plain, cooked beets in bags in the deli section.

Franco said...

I like red beet but never tried it that way. I think I'll try your recipe right this week. Thanks!

Sam Oxby said...

I'm part of a vegan and vegetarian cafe in Inverness, Scotland. I just wondered whether you'd mind if we trial your recipe to sell in the cafe?

urban vegan said...

Sure, Sam! As a kid, we ate this poured over a few slices of a boiled potato. So comforting when it's cold outside. Let me know how it goes over :)