Vegetarian Borscht

Total Time:
2 hr 5 min
45 min
1 hr 20 min

8 main-course servings

  • 1 -ounce (30 g) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, trimmed, wiped clean, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 10 small or 7 to 8 medium beets, with greens, peeled, quartered, and cut across into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut across into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut across into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 very small or 1/2 large celery root (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds mashing potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 small white cabbage (about 3/4 pound), cored and shredded
  • 3 large cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and very finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 medium bunch dill, fronds only, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Coarsely chopped dill
  • Sour cream
  • Boiled potatoes, optional
  • Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and squeeze out the excess liquid. Strain all the soaking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve the liquid (there should be 1 cup) and the mushrooms separately.

  • In a tall narrow stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.

  • Add the beets, carrots, parsnip, celery root, 8 cups water, and the mushroom soaking liquid. bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cabbage, garlic, and, if using, the beet greens. Dissolve the tomato paste in 1/2 cup of the liquid and stir back into soup. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the reconstituted mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.

  • Remove from the heat. Stir in the dill, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.

  • Pass bowls of chopped dill and sour cream at the table.

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