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Dinner Tonight: Vegetarian Borscht

Who's ready for another cheap soup recipe? This one is as economical and simple as they come, is ready in minutes, and is far richer and warming than it has any credit being. The recipe comes via the Estonian food blog Nami-Nami, where I was looking for ideas to put the epic amounts of cabbage and beets that are plentiful here in Estonia to good use. It is simply beets, onions, carrots, and cabbage, all cut into shreds and matchsticks, sauteed then simmered together until everything turns a strange and beautiful pink.

Borscht is a popular soup in this part of Europe, with numerous hearty variations that almost always feature the earthy beet. The majority of the time the soup has meat in it, but I didn't miss it one bit (nor did I notice that the soup has hardly any fat). I made a huge pot and the leftovers have only grown tastier. The flavor is light and hearty at the same time, made gently sour by the addition of lemon juice, and far greater than the sum of its parts.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. He is currently living for the year in Tartu, Estonia.

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