Slow Cooker Borscht

This one’s for Deb, a friend of mine up in Seattle. :)

It’s been super-windy and rather cold all this last week. After spending some time in the morning listening to the wind howl about the eaves and against the windows, we decided yesterday that soup was definitely in order for dinner. We also wanted to get stuff done, so anything requiring a lot of time was out. Enter the slow cooker. But what to make?

We had some beets that were harvested in Grantsville that needed to be used up. Now, naturally we could have done a bunch of different things with them, like roasting them or turning them into salad, but with the weather getting colder, soups and stews are becoming very appealing. Which means just one recipe would do: borscht!

I’ve made this twice now, preparing the veggies in various ways and found that we definitely prefer running everything possible through the shredding/grating disc of the food processor. If you don’t have one, you can just chop or dice your way through the heaps of veggies but with one, it all goes quite quickly. You can easily prep this in 30 minutes before work and let it cook merrily away until you arrive home, perhaps somewhat soggy or windblown from the winter weather demons and definitely ready for soup.

The one problem with this vegetarian version is that you’ll get all your veggies but be seriously lacking in protein. TVP is a potential addition, provided you reconstitute it first and not in the cooker. We opted to have a bean and carrot salad on the side, plus some potato-caraway rolls from my husband’s earlier baking in the day.

Slow Cooker Borscht [printable recipe]

Adapted from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker
Serves 4 to 6, possibly more

  • 2 pounds beets, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 banana pepper or small red/orange bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 small-to-mediumish potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 5 cups veggie stock
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp hot paprika
  • salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a 4qt to 6qt slow cooker. Stir well and cover. Set on LOW for 8 hours. Serve with sour cream.

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