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Beets. One of my absolute favourite foods and the foundation of this Nourishing Lentil Borscht. Beets have a lovely earthy flavour and their health benefits are numerous. As their beautiful deep red colour indicates, beets are a powerful blood tonic, assisting with anemia, heart health and circulation. They’re rich in antioxidants and fibre and are supportive to our livers and detoxification system.

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I enjoy beets weekly in a variety of ways. They are fabulous whether raw, roasted, steamed, or pickled and are delicious in salads, juices, as a hearty side dish, and of course, in this incredibly comforting and satisfying lentil borscht. Every summer, I look forward to making borscht, when the vegetables are at their peak in freshness and vibrant in flavour and colour.

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This recipe was inspired when my first “my farmers market” produce box arrived at my doorstep several weeks ago. I was ‘Christmas morning as a child’ kind of excited to lay all the stunning veggies out on my table and of course take a lot of photos.

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Shortly after my photoshoot, I proceeded to make a particularly large pot of borscht with some of the freshly delivered, organic and local veggies. This being the second time I made a massive pot of borscht this summer, I delivered half of the finished product to my Nonna and she gave the recipe her stamp of approval.

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I hope you enjoy this Nourishing Lentil Borscht as much as my Nonna and I did!

Ciao,

Sarah

Nourishing Lentil Borscht

Serves: 8
Prep/Cook Time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large cooking onion, diced
12 cups (3 litres) vegetable stock
1 28 oz (800 ml) can of tomatoes, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) dried lentils, rinsed
2 cups (500 ml) potatoes, cut in small cubes
2 cups (500 ml) green beans, halved
2 cups (500 ml) Swiss chard or cabbage, finely chopped
2 cups (500 ml) beets, shredded
1 cup (250 ml) carrots, shredded
1 cup (250 ml) fresh dill, chopped (¼ used for garnish)
Juice of 1-2 lemons (depending on preferred acidity)
Salt and pepper to taste.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Sauté onion and garlic in oil over medium heat, in a very large pot. Cook until translucent; about 5 minutes.
2. Add vegetable stock, canned tomatoes, and lentils; bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, add potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes, with the lid on.
4. Remove the lid and add green beans and the stems of the swiss chard; cook for 5 minutes.
5. Add beets, carrots, Swiss chard (or cabbage), lemon juice, 3/4 of the dill (save 1/4 for garnish on top) and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Cook for another 5-7 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked.