Sunday, June 8, 2014

Green Lentil Borscht

We had a fantastic meal tonight. The flavors were perfect. I started with a recipe but then ventured outside of it as I usually do. The result was magnificent. And very red. Very, very red. In fact, Patrick said that this would be an excellent plant based meal to take to a Husker tail-gate. It was that red. :)

This recipe is oil free, sugar free, dairy free, nut free, gluten free, soy free, and totally plant based. Whoo hoo! That makes it a "safe" option for vegans, vegetarians, MSPI mommas and people who are gluten intolerant. Perfect.

Green Lentil Borscht
made 8 1/2 servings (1 cup)

Vegetable broth
1 medium onion (minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
3 medium beets (peeled and chopped)
5 small red potatoes (cleaned and chopped with skin on)
15-20 baby carrots (cleaned and chopped)
2-3 vegetable bullion cubes
3 bay leaves
2 cups cooked lentils
2 tsp dried dill
1 can diced tomato 
1 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the vegetable broth in a large soup kettle or sauce pan over medium high heat.
2. Saute the onion until translucent.
3. Add the garlic and saute for one minute more.
4. Add the potato, carrots, and beets, 6 cups of water, bay leaves and bullion. Stir to combine.
5. Cook until the beets are tender, about 25-30 minutes, stirring occassionally.
6. Once the beets are tender, add lentils, tomatoes, and dill and cook 10-15 minutes more or until heated through.
7. Just before serving add the apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
8. Adjust the herbs to taste and remove the bay leaves.
9. Serve topped with a nut based cream sauce.

NOTE: You could certainly use uncooked lentils in this recipe as well. Add them in at step 4 with the root vegetables. They should take about the same time to cook as the beets. I used precooked lentils because I typically cook a large quantity of lentils or black beans at one time and freeze them in portions so I have them ready to go into recipes. Lentils have a 1:2 1/2 or 3 cup ratio so use approximately 1 cup dry lentils for similar proportions above.

 My 3 year old insisted that his truck needed to be part of the photo shoot. I think it is a nice touch, don't you?

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