Lentils Vegan borscht with Cashew Cream
I really love cooking with lentils and beetroot, so I’m glad I could bring you yet another recipe, where this wonderful root veg features as the main thing. It’s lovely sweet taste is what really makes this vegan borscht so good! Of course the spices and seasoning play a big role too. But no-one’s going to deny the beetroot it’s rightful queenly place.
Now why to add the lentils?
As I’m sure you well know (if you’ve had borscht in past) the real deal is actually made with potatoes, tomatoes and meat. Though the recipe can differ from country to country. It’s very popular in most East European countries, so there are a lot of different versions to choose from. Generally though, most of these agree on the same vegetables with few differences here and there. Today we try to bring you this dish in a healthier version, avoiding the meat obviously, and the tomatoes and potatoes, which we shouldn’t really be using in our meals anyway, or sparingly at best. I will endeavor to post an article about the Night shade family vegetables as soon as possible, so you can all better understand where I’m coming from.
Disclaimer: This recipe was inspired by a similar one from a Czech macrobiotic cookbook by Dagmar Luzna, called Makrobioticke nedelni vareni (loose translation – Macro Weekend Cooking).
15 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 1+1/2 cup stock
- oil for frying
- 60 g red split lentils
- 2 whole allspice
- 2 juniper berries
- 1 bay leaf
- 1tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
- Ume plum vinegar
- 2 tbsp sauerkraut
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/2 small carrot
- 1/4 parsnip
- piece of celeriac
- 1/4 onion
- 1/2 small beetroot
- 2-3 cabbage leaves
- for decorating:
- fresh parsley
- dollop of cashew butter
- 3 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
- lemon juice
- Wash and peel your vegetables first.
- Cut onion in half moons, parsnip into small cubes, shred the cabbage leaves into fine small strips (on a grater or cut finely). Grate the rest of the vegetables, aside from beetroot.
- Fry the onion and parsnip for a minute together in a medium size pot, then add the grated veg and fry a bit longer.
- Add your stock, the spices and quartered beetroot and bring to boil. Don't forget to add the lentils as well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins with a lid on.
- Whilst the soup is cooking, wash and strain the pumpkin seeds. Then pat dry and toast in a small frying pan on a low heat, until they start popping. Set aside.
- In the last 8 mins, pop the shredded cabbage in with the soup. Pour in more stock or boiled water, if the soup gets too thick.
- Take the beetroot out, cool down under cold water and grate into a bowl. Also take out the spices and discard.
- Prepare your cashew cream:
- Mix together heaped tbsp of cashew butter and 3 tbsp almond milk with a bit of lemon juice, until smooth.
- Season the soup with ACV, Ume plum vinegar, pressed garlic and 2 tbsp of sauerkraut.
- Serve in a deep bowl and decorate with grated beetroot, cashew cream and parsley. Optional: toasted pumpkin seeds.
Serve with few rice cakes or G/F bread.
For a complete meal, use a few tablespoons of millet grain to cook with the soup.
Beetroot can be added in different ways to make the recipe taste a bit different every time:
Fresh – just peeled and grated and added at the end.
Roasted – halve the beetroot and roast for about 40-50 mins, prior to cooking the soup. Then peel and either cut into small pieces, or grate finely on a grater.
Cooked for longer – cook in boiled salted water for about an hour. Peel afterwards and grate into the soup as decoration. The longer you cook it for, the sweeter and softer it will be.