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For vegans, a version of Ukrainian borscht to love

This vegan adaptation of borscht — a popular Eastern European soup — is made with beets, cabbage and other root vegetables.

This recipe is popular in Ukrainian homes among Christians who abstain from meat and dairy prior to Christmas and Easter.

Prepared ingredients make this recipe great for beginner cooks or those who just don’t have time to peel and shred vegetables.

WBEZ staffers Julian Hayda and Monica Eng prepare vegetarian borscht. | Sun-Times Photo
WBEZ staffers Julian Hayda and Monica Eng prepare vegetarian borscht. | Sun-Times Photo

Vegan Ukrainian Borscht

Here’s what you’ll need:

4 tablespoons sunflower oil

3 cloves minced garlic

1 large white onion, roughly chopped

2 cups fresh chopped mushrooms (wild preferred)

1 ½ cups shredded carrots

4 cups of plain (unsweetened) canned beets with juice

32-ounce box of mushroom broth

Half cup of ketchup

Now it’s time to cook:

1. Saute slivered onion in sunflower oil on medium heat. Then, sprinkle them with sea salt and cook until soft and yellow.

2. Add shredded carrots and continue to cook over medium heat until tender.

3. Next, add chopped garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.

4. Add the mushrooms, mushroom broth and canned beets (including juice). Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.

5. Finally, add the ketchup and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Top with a dollop of sour cream (if you don’t need to keep it vegan) and a shower of freshly chopped dill. (Serve with fresh, eggy brioche or challah bread around Christmas.)

Ukrainian vegan borscht is served. | Sun-Times Photo
Ukrainian vegan borscht is served. | Sun-Times Photo

Julian Hayda is a WBEZ producer. Follow him on Twitter at @julianhayda.

This story is a part of the Chicago Sun-Times-WBEZ Worldview “Hungry For Home” series, which helps newbies navigate the many international groceries in the Chicago area. Learn how to shop at local Polish and Ukrainian grocery stores at WBEZ.

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