Recipe: Rustic Golden Beet Soup (Chunky Golden Borscht)
Now where were we? Oh yeah, we were talking about comforting winter soup (and the sugar detox but I’d rather not talk about that).
For the past 5 days or so, much of south-eastern Canada and all the way down into the southern US States have been in the grip of a record-breaking cold snap. They are calling it a historic weather event. With temperatures that are 30º F to 40º F (16º C to 22º C) degrees below normal…yeah, I would say that’s historic.
Right about now, I’m thankful to live in this city of Vancouver with its mild climate. Had you heard about how we trucked in snow to dump on the local mountains for the 2010 Olympics? Yep, we did. Truckload after truckload after truckload.
We can’t always count on our winters being mild tho. I remember “The Blizzard of 96″, when over a four-day period late in December, nearly five feet of snow fell in the normally temperate southern parts of British Columbia.
I remember that historic event for the mountain of shovelled snow piled ten feet high on either side of our driveway and then there was my brother, along with his 9-year-old daughter and my mom who were travelling in my brother’s 4WD truck from the Okanagan to Vancouver when this epic snowstorm hit (with very little warning). They along with thousands of other travelers who were on the road that day made it as far as Chilliwack (about 100 km, or 64 miles from Vancouver) before the highways closed. IN BOTH DIRECTIONS!!
My family was 3 among more than 3,000 stranded travellers. This was in the mid 90’s, a time before everyone had a cell phone in their pocket. My brother pulled off the highway and went into a hotel where he found out every hotel room in Chilliwack was already occupied.
Stranded. They waited for an hour in a line up to use one of the hotel’s pay phones. After a call to us in Vancouver, we were able to put him in touch with my husband’s Uncle Jake who lived in Chilliwack. Although they may have met Jake and Pat at our wedding ten years earlier, they were almost strangers.
It was 4 or 5 days before the highway reopened and my family was able to resume their journey home. Over those few days in Chilliwack, they were warmly welcomed into Pat and Jake’s home.
They may have started out as strangers but by the end of those 4 or 5 days, they had forged a friendship that lasted a lifetime. They weren’t the only ones. Chilliwack is a farming community. Many local farms opened their homes to motorists sidelined by the severe weather.
Times of trouble can bring out the best in people. I would dearly love to hear your stories. The comment section below is all yours if you care to share
To all of my friends currently living back east, the National Weather Service isn’t kidding when it calls this freak cold snap “life-threatening.” Hunker down, stay warm, stay safe and enjoy a nice warm bowl of soup. Warm hugs to you all.
Now about this soup. Don’t know about you but I’ve worked up an appetite here. I’m loving golden beets these days. I might have loved them all my life except I didn’t discover them until a year or two ago. Sad about missing time with these golden beauties.
Don’t you think this hearty rustic soup and a toasty slice of gluten free bread would be perfect on a cold winters day?
I’m thinking I might try my hand at Coconut Bread. Have you tried grain free bread? Don’t think I ever have. I’m intrigued yet reluctant to try this recipe for Crusty Coconut flour Bread (Paleo, SCD) by The Real Food Forager. I’ve seen it all over the place (social media) lately.
From what I’ve experienced and read about baking with Coconut Flour, it can sometimes be a tricky business. Oh well, I’ve got some coconut flour in the pantry. No point letting it sit there until it goes stale. No point in letting it go to waste. Better to invest in some eggs (if you’ve ever used coconut flour, you’ll get my drift) and bake away.
- 1 medium onion, chopped and fried until caramelised
- 2 golden beets, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 tomato, blanched for 20 seconds, peel and chop
- 1/4 head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 Cups thick soup stock
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 Cup cooked ham, chopped (optional)
- I like to use caramelised onions in my cooking. I always have some in my freezer. You don’t need to caramelize the onions but at the very least, I do recommend frying the onions in a dab of oil on medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes before adding to this soup.
- For this soup I also chose to roast the carrots and beets for 20-25 minutes at 425°F, or until brown around the edges. It took about 15 minutes. Again, this is a step you can skip if you want to get into the soup quicker.
- Add all ingredients, heat until almost boiling. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until cabbage has wilted and all ingredients cooked through. Taste, season with fresh ground salt and pepper if necessary.
- For a deep rustic flavour, roast the vegetables first. Spray carrots and golden beets with a dab of oil and roast on a parchment lined baking sheet at 425°F for 25-30 minutes, or until brown around the edges. Stir once, after 15 minutes.
For the soup base, I used some of this thick soup stock. If you don’t have time to make the thickened stock from scratch, boil a carrot, a stock of celery and a clove of garlic in about 1 1/2 Cups of clear soup stock (make sure it’s gluten free!) until veggies are cooked through (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, allow to cool and puree the lot in a blender and voila, you should have a nice soup stock thickened without starch.
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