I had a bunch of fresh beets, and wanted to turn them into a main course. Couldn’t think of anything, then I remembered borscht! But I didn’t want an Eastern European version, so I riffed on the seasonings. 


  • 1 bunch (3 medium) beets, preferably with greens
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1 stick cinnamon 
  • 1-2 mild dried red Mexican chili peppers
  • Baharat, and/or ground “exotic spice mix” (black pepper, coriander seed, anise seed, paprika, jasmine, amchur, cumin, fennel, tarragon, caraway, clove, ginger, etc.)
  • 2 cups strained Pomi tomatoes (about half a 750ml container) 


  1. Remove sausage from casings and crumble. Brown in coconut oil in large pot. 
  2. Peel and dice vegetables, add to sausage and sweat over medium-high heat until they start to color.
  3. Deglaze pan with a healthy splash of red wine.
  4. Add broth and spices and bring to boil.
  5. Simmer until vegetables and just barely tender. Add tomatoes and cook until vegetables are soft but not mushy. 
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and sprigs of fresh dill. 


For vegetarian, use kidney beans and/or chickpeas instead of the sausage. Or double down on the meat and add some ground beef and chopped bacon. 


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