Vegetarian Borscht

Making borscht at this time of year is a sacred act for me--one I do with great intention or kavannah. It's an opportunity to honour the beautiful beets in the garden and also to pay homage to my Jewish roots. The impending snowstorm inspired me to harvest beets while I could still see them! Beets are a fantastic source of lutein and zeazanthin for the retina as well as an unique source of belatains. Carrots add additional beta carotene and red cabbage offers cancer-fighting anthocyanins. A food that is as delicious as healthy...yum!


1 bunch garden beets
2 garden carrots
1/4 of a red cabbage
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
8 cups vegetable stock (I used red cabbage, turnip, tomato and celery to get a good red and tasty stock)
I can red beans
2 tbsp red balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Sheep or goat Yoghurt
Chopped fresh dill


  1. Grate the veggies in a food processor or chop into matchsticks.

  2. Bring stock to a boil.

  3. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil, fry garlic, then add most of the shredded vegetables and stir fry until soft. Reserve a small amount of red beet for later.

  4. Add the boiling stock and the beans to the pot and simmer for about 25 minutes. Towards the end, add the salt, pepper and vinegar and the reserved beets. Because they were not stir fried, the beets will add a deep red colour.

  5. Serve with yoghurt (less fat than sour cream) as well as the chopped dill, essential Ayurvedically to add a pitta-soothing touch to the recipe and to improve digestibility.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

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