Borscht is a popular vegetarian Ukrainian soup made with beets, cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, black pepper, and fresh dill.
This simple borscht recipe is low-carb, low calorie, gluten-free, vegan, and tasty, despite not having any oil or fat, making it perfect for a spring or fall cleanse.
Another reason this vegetarian soup is great for a cleanse is its main ingredient: beets, which are often recommended for a cleanse.
Health Benefits of Beets
Beets are a powerful blood and liver cleanser. Consumption of beets helps to cool and cleanse the blood by flushing the bile.
Toxins tend to build up in the bile, and the more times the body recycles bile without flushing it, the more the toxins build up and create distress in your body.
In addition to toxins, bile has a tendency to thicken over time.
To keep your bile flowing, eat beets. Cooked beets, such as this borscht, serve as a gentle cleanse. For a more powerful effect, eat some raw beets.
Like most red foods, beets are also high in iron, which helps to build new blood.
Raw beets are quite heating, which makes them most beneficial for anyone with cold or sluggish digestion. Cooking reduces this heat, so keep that in mind if your body reacts to beets.
Beets can also turn your urine and/or stools red, so don’t be alarmed if you see this. The length of time it takes to show up as red is a good indication of how long it takes food to move through your digestive tract.
In this recipe, you’ll add warming anti-inflammatory ingredients like vinegar, black pepper, garlic, and clove.
The spices are necessary to add flavor and interest to this oil-free soup. Oils and fats are great carriers of flavor, so be generous with the spices. If you feel like adding extra after tasting, then do so.
The warming spices are balanced by the cooling bittersweet flavors of the carrots, onions, and cabbage. So, overall this recipe is balanced.
Enjoy this naturally sweet treat while on a cleanse, or any time you want some gentle support for comfortable digestion.
Recipe for Simple Borscht (oil free)
start the soup stock
- 5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- pinch clove powder
vegetables - add to the soup stock
- 2 cups beets, peeled and grated
- 1 cup onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 4 cups cabbage, finely chopped
for the garnish
- ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
Start the soup stock in a saucepan or Instant Pot
- Add water, red wine vinegar, bay leaves, salt, and pepper to a large saucepan or Instant Pot to create a vegetarian soup stock. If you are using the saucepan, turn the heat to high. For the Instant Pot, use the "Saute" function to heat the water.
- Prepare the vegetables and add each to the stock. Peel beets and grate using a food processor, kitchen mandoline, or by hand. Slice onion and chop garlic. Wash and slice celery and carrots. Chop cabbage.
- For the Saucepan method, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are well cooked. For the Instant Pot, press "Cancel" then select "Pressure Cook." Make sure it is pressure cook on "High" and set the timer to 15 minutes. After the Instant Pot finishes cooking, wait 15 minutes and open the lid safely.
Finish the soup
- Add fresh dill just before serving.
- Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream, yogurt, or hard-boiled eggs.