Russian Borscht

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1cup chopped parsnips (option: purple or red potatoes)
  • 1 cup chopped beets
  • 2-3 large sliced carrots
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 2 cups purple cabbage
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds (I tend to use about 2 tsp, so play with the flavor)
  • 4 cups stock or water (I use homemade chicken broth)
  • 2 tsp sea saltblack pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh dill minced
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar or coconut vinegar
  • 1 cup tomato puree or diced tomatoes

Procedure
Place parsnips (or potatoes), beets and water in a saucepan and cook until almost tender. (save the water)
In a large kettle or soup pot begin cooking the onions in olive oil. Add caraway seeds and salt. Cook until onions are translucent, then add celery, carrots and cabbage. Add water from beets and cook covered until all vegetables are almost tender. Add the beets, parsnips (or potatoes) and all remaining ingredients.
Cover and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes. Taste and alter seasoning as you like.
Serve topped with extra dill, fresh chopped tomato and if you desire dairy a dollop of sour cream.

Additional info on this soup:
This vibrantly red soup will nourish you through the spring and winter seasons. It has a beautiful array of veggies which represent all Five Elementsand flavors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Note how many of the vegetables affect the liver (Wood element) and support the spleen/pancreas (Earth element). During the Spring season the Liver and Gallbladder need extra support as these are the organs associated with Springtime. The Spleen/Pancreas and Stomach are associated with the Earth element and oftencan be “over-controlled” by Wood (liver and gallbladder). This soup helps harmonize the dynamic and delicate balance within the Five Elements.
Beets are neutral in temperature and sweet in flavor. They help improve circulation and purify the blood. They strengthen the heart, benefit the liver, moisten the intestines in cases of constipation and can promote menstruation in women. When eaten with carrots, as in this recipe, they regulate hormonesduring menopause. As a root vegetable they also help calm the spirit when someone is feeling ungrounded and anxious. Purple cabbage is slightly warming, sweet and pungent. It improved digestion, benefits the stomach, moistens the intestines. It is commonly used in the treatment of whooping cough, constipation and used with garlic to expel worms from the intestines. It is high in sulfur and helps in the treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers. People with thyroid challenges should avoid excess amounts of raw cabbage as it is goitrogenic, unless it’s been fermented in Kimchi or Sauerkraut. Carrots are neutral in temperature and sweet. They strengthen the spleen/pancreas, improves liver functions, treat excess stomach acid, help dissolve accumulations such as stones and tumors, are alkalinizing thus treat symptoms like acne, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections and rheumatism. They are rich in beta-carotene and support the eyes-especially night blindness. They help increase milk supply in nursing mothers and regulate hormones. Celery is cooling, sweet and bitter. It benefits the stomach, spleen/pancreas and calms the liver. It improves digestion, dries excess dampness in the body, promote sweating and increases sperm count in men. It is high in silicon and therefore great for connective tissue, bones, joints, and arteries. Both the stalks and root is used in the East and West to treat highblood pressure, even during pregnancy. Onions are pungent, influence the lungs, reduce clotting, expel cold and support protein metabolism.
Parsnips
are warming and sweet, benefit the spleen/pancreas and stomach, can help clear the liver and gall bladder, are a mild diuretic and lubricate the intestines.Vinegar is warming and moves stagnant blood. The sour and bitter flavors reduce liver accumulations. It also can neutralized food poisoning when ¼ tsp is taken every 15 minutes. It can be used as a foot bath for those with symptoms of athlete’s foot-fungus. It relieves damp conditions such as excessmucus, oedema and stops bleeding. (Source: Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford)

Bon Appetit!

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