This Red River Raw Borscht is my own recipe, adapted from my cooked borscht recipe (previously published on my Bean Vegan blog). We had it today for the first time in ages, and it surprised us both by being even better than we remembered. The fruit flavours blend beautifully with the beets, and the whole is fresh and summery in feel. Here you are:
RED RIVER RAW BORSCHT
3/4 pound red beets, peeled and chopped
1 large clove garlic
Two large handfuls of fresh spinach (I’d have preferred beet greens, but it’s late in the year for that)
1-1/4 cups cranberries (I used some I’d frozen earlier)
Zest, juice and chopped flesh of 1 orange (blood orange, if you have it)
4 sundried tomatoes, soaked and chopped (soaking liquid reserved)
Large handful dulse, lightly rinsed, chopped (other sea vegetable would be good, but I was keeping with red.)
1-1/2 tsp miso
2 or 3 dashes cayenne (optional, but it gives it a nice extra zip)
Enough water to blend the ingredients and to reach the desired consistency
Set a few cranberries aside for garnish, if you wish, and put the rest of the ingredients with the soaking liquid from the dried tomatoes and a cup or more of water into a blender. Puree well, adding more water as needed. Add any extra water to bring to your preferred thickness. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Regrigerate until needed, for a cold soup, or serve at room temperature.
Garnish with cranberries and, if you like, fresh herbs, etc. Serve with freshly ground black pepper.
And – oh yes, the name of the soup? My very first taste of borscht was in the late ’40s and came from the kitchen of a lady who had migrated to Manitoba from the Ukraine. The soup was strong (not raw and not, I recall, vegetarian), chunky, full of many wonderful things, and was like no soup I’d ever eaten before. I loved it! This soup is named in honour of that long-ago hospitality. Thank you, Mrs B.
This Avocado and Strawberry combination was served plain except for a tiny sprinkle of balsamic vinergar and the same amount of mirin. It was delicious.
The above dish accompanied another mushroom dish:
This was really just a glorified salad, but the combination of different greens amused me and I decided to photograph it for this blog.
I started out with a large portobello sprinkled with lemon juice, Bragg’s Liquid Soy (Liquid Aminos), and a few flakes of crushed chilies. Then I put layers of each of: basil leaves, sliced heirloom green zebra tomatoes (which are still green when juicy and ripe), slivers of onion, thin rounds of green bell pepper, and more of the tomatoes on top, interspersing the layers with more lemon juice and a little (very little) more of the crushed chilies.Thin slices of English Cucumber are around the edge of the plate.
The earthy taste of the mushroom and its chewy texture complemented the freshness of the green vegetables beautifully. It was not only tasty but fun to make and eat.
This raw adventure keeps getting better and better!