The sauerkraut is where it’s at. It really makes this dish. Salty, sour, and deliciously pungent, it’s crucial to get some in here to counter the earthy sweetness of the beets. I added a big handful into the pot whilst cooking the vegetables, and some more while blending the soup.
The quantity of sauerkraut here is largely dependent on how sour or sweet you would like your soup to be and also how pungent your sauerkraut is, so I recommend adding a little at a time and adjusting as you go. But if you would prefer to leave it out entirely, a splash of lime juice or vinegar is a good alternative.
In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until lightly browned. Add grated beets, carrots, and potatoes along with tomato purée, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and dried parsley. Clamp on a lid and cook until tender and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
Pour the stock/water at this stage and add the sauerkraut. Continue cooking the soup covered on a low flame for 10-15 minutes. Once done, take off the heat and let it cool slightly.
Remove the bay leaves and discard. Purée the soup in batches in a blender and add to a clean pot. Check and adjust seasoning. If the soup is too thick, add enough water to bring it to the right consistency.
Reheat gently before serving. This soup can also be served cold. Divide the soup between the bowls and top with sauerkraut and a dollop of sour cream before serving.
*The quantity may need to be adjusted based on the potency of your sauerkraut.
- Add a dash of lime juice or vinegar to the soup if you don't want to use sauerkraut.
- Traditionally, borscht is not puréed. If you’d prefer it like that, skip the blending stage. Blending half the quantity and leaving the other half as is, is another option.