Grandma’s Love and Sweet Potato Borscht

The deep flavor of root vegetables in this Sweet Potato Borscht, along with fresh dill, leaves the soup rustic and chunky, with a sweet, creamy broth, unclouded by starch that might be released by using white potatoes.

Sweet Potato Borscht

What I love about entertaining is that we can relax and have fun with people, allowing our home be theirs, instead of perfecting an artificial environment that is not really how we live.

It’s called imperfect entertaining, and it’s exactly the way my mother and grandmothers did it.

Years ago! Both of my grandmas were of European descent, one German, the other Holland Dutch. Both of them made delicious borscht, but not the way I’m making it today.

Since my husband is Irish, and he totally overate potatoes while growing up, he’s much more of a sweet potato boy. And I love them as well!

Grandma Dubs

I have fond memories of eating borscht at Grandma Dubs’, always made during the summer harvest, because of the beets and the fresh dill. (Grandma Dubs was the cutest little farmer – ever!)

Sweet Potato Borscht.

Borscht is a soup made with beets and usually served with sour cream, associated with the cuisine of eastern and central Europe. My dad reminded me that it was always served at his Mennonite meals.

You can roast the veggies or you can boil them, but either way, it’s easy to keep all ingredients on hand for this soup, especially if you buy Love Beets at Costco (already cooked organic beets).

Sweet Potato Borscht

Beets are the main ingredient, and also the natural food coloring for this beautiful bowl of pinkness!

You can substitute whatever herbs you have growing, but because of my strong childhood memories, my borscht has to be made with fresh dill.

The deep flavor of root vegetables (sweet potatoes and red beets) leaves the soup rustic and chunky, with a sweet, creamy broth, unclouded by starch that might be released by using white potatoes.

Cabbage and kale.

Then there’s cabbage. I sliced my cabbage fine, but in the end I sautéed up 8 cups of fresh baby kale and added that, along with more fresh dill. Oh, my, goodness!

Cabbage is essential. Some recipes swap out the cabbage for sweet potatoes, but I’ve added both in. Pure deliciousness!

As with many soups, this gets better the next day, or after a week in the freezer.

Put all vegetables in soup stock and simmer gently until well done.

Eventually it’s the “pink” soup.

At the end of cooking, add 1/2 and 1/2 to make a light, creamy sauce. It’s not quite “pink” yet … until it mingles with the beets!

Sweet Potato Borscht

Pour the “pink” soup into a bowl, dip your crunchy bread into it, enjoy during this “love month,” and share it with a friend.

Thanks Grandma Dubs and Grandma Friesen for the inspiration!

If you could make one pot of soup in the month of February, what would it be?

Sweet Potato Borscht

The deep flavor of root vegetables (sweet potatoes and red beets) in this Sweet Potato Borscht, leaves the soup rustic and chunky, with a sweet, creamy broth, unclouded by starch that might be released by using white potatoes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 shallots coarsely chopped
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups cabbage chopped
  • 20 oz. cooked beets about 4 cups, or 6-8 medium beets – I buy “Love Beets” brand, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped dill divided
  • 2 cups kale chopped {optional}
  • 1 cup half & half

Instructions

  • In a large baking pot or braiser, heat 1 Tbsp. oil and sauté onion for about 3 minutes. Add the shallots and cook another 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, cloves, and salt and pepper.
  • Pour in the broth and add the cabbage and 2 Tbsp. fresh dill to the pot. Bring to a boil; simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and sauté kale for about 2 minutes. Add to the pot of soup.
  • Salt and pepper to taste; add the fresh dill and the cooked beets and simmer for 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are nice and soft. Add the half and half and heat on low for about 5 minutes until heated through. Do not let the cream curdle.
  • Allow the soup to cool; top with a dollop of sour cream for a traditional touch.

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The deep flavor of root vegetables in this Sweet Potato Borscht, along with fresh dill, leaves the soup rustic and chunky, with a sweet, creamy broth, unclouded by starch that might be released by using white potatoes.

9 comments on “Grandma’s Love and Sweet Potato Borscht”

  1. I love cooking! I learnt an awful lot of mediterreanean diets thanks to this ebook http://www.mydepressionreview.com/a-review-of-destroy-depression-by-james-gordon/

    The book has a lot of recipes about this diet. It is very healthy, too. You might find a lot of tips for healthy living in it, if you’re interested.

  2. soup sounds wonderful & want to make it today, but I don’t see the half & half on the ingredient list. How much do you add?

  3. What a sweet post about your grandmother and I love that photo of her.

  4. I want a giant steaming bowl of borscht!! I love a soup with a legacy and this one surely has it!

  5. I’ve never had borscht before! This soup looks amazing Sandy. I have to find those beets!

  6. I love beets. I’ve never eaten borscht before. A friend loves it and tells me I should try it. I guess now is as good a time as any. Thanx!

  7. I have never had beets in soup. I would and did made/make..lol a huge pot of vegetable barley soup for my hubby and oldest to eat when I was gone this last week!

  8. i want to make this soup this weekend, but I don’t see the recipe. Am I missing something?

  9. I am a diabetic woman who always had to keep quiet when it came to desserts. It depressed me to know that I could never eat my favorite dessert foods. I finally found the perfect gluten free desserts that are just so delicious :) Here is a link to a review of the recipes http://inersche.com/2015/02/04/guilt-free-desserts-gluten-free-diabetic-safe-deserts-thoughts/

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