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)
- Remove sausage from casings and crumble. Brown in coconut oil in large pot.
- Peel and dice vegetables, add to sausage and sweat over medium-high heat until they start to color.
- Deglaze pan with a healthy splash of red wine.
- Add broth and spices and bring to boil.
- Simmer until vegetables and just barely tender. Add tomatoes and cook until vegetables are soft but not mushy.
- 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.