Sunday, 12 April 2015

Borscht with beet and carrot greens

Russian beet soup

I'm happy to try anything once (that is anything reasonably appetizing, so no insects, snakes or animal eyes, brain, or private bits). Recently I talked to my Mum on the phone and mentioned that I cooked a soup with beet leaves. She asked me if I ever prepared any meals with carrot's green tops. No, I haven't, and to remedy that I googled for recipes. Apparently they are edible, and that prompted me to cook a borsht with beet and carrot greens. I found a lovely bunch of carrot at the local market.

Borscht with beet and carrot greens
2 beets
2 carrots
1 onion
3tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes
1 apple
1tbsp vegetable stock powder
2 big handfuls of beet leaves
a handful of carrot greens
2 potatoes
1tbsp chervil
2 spring onions

Chop the onion finely and fry with 1tbsp of olive oil until the onion gets translucent. Remove the fried onions from the frying pan and set aside in a bowl. Add more olive oil to the pan and fry the peeled and chopped beets and carrots for about 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly. Add a chopped garlic to the vegetables and fry for another couple of minutes.
Put the fried vegetables in a deep pan with the chopped tomatoes, apple, chopped carrot greens and vegetable stock, pour enough water to cover the veggies well. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then add chopped potatoes to the pan, and cook for another 10+ minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Add the chopped beet leaves in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add more water as the soup is cooked, so it does look like a soup rather than a stew. Though it is quite a thick soup. Season with salt and add some herbs, like chervil and spring onions.
Serve hot with a dollop of soured cream or Greek style yogurt.
This is a vegetarian version of the soup, you can of course, cook it with the beef or chicken stock.

Now, what about the flavour of the carrot greens? I love the beet leaves in soups, but cannot feign much enthusiasm for the carrot greens. They were OK, edible, but that's about it. There's probably a good reason why they are not as popular in cooking. They might be super healthy, but I didn't like the texture, and flavour didn't convince me either. I was glad that I satisfied my curiosity.
I suppose when the food is scarce then you would eat anything, and this is a Russian equivalent of the cucina povera.
Have you tried cooking the carrot greens?

Russian beet soup


  1. What a gorgeous vibrant colour, looks really lovely

    1. Thank you Alison! I'm very partial to beet soups

  2. wow so wonderful looking soup :)