1/2 cup onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 leek (chopped)
2 large beets (sliced into bite-sized-ish strips)
1 small potato (cubed)
1/2 cup tofu (cubed)
1 cup squiggly pasta
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of pepper flakes
a dash of Hungarian paprika
~5 cups of water
Serves 3 or 4 hungry grown-ups
It's about that time of year when I go into hibernation mode, refusing to leave the warmth of my blanket-cape unless persuaded by food, cocoa, or a warmer blanket. Last night, as the wintry mix outside made plink-plonk sounds on my neighbor's air conditioner (seriously guys, it's time you accept that AC season is over), I started to feel a rumbling in my tum. This soup was conceived while I was wrapped in a blanket. It's based on what was in my fridge, because the outside world would have meant leaving said blanket and that didn't work for me. Therefore it's highly variable, and would probably be good with a number of substitutions or adjusted amounts.
I called it Borschtrone because it's basically a mix of borscht and minestrone soup. (... duh.)
In a pot (mine was medium sized), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high. Throw in onions and let them chill for a bit until they start to get clear (2 minutes-ish). Add garlic and leek and sauté for another few minutes until they get a little soft. Salt and pepper to taste, and add a dash of Hungarian paprika and pepper flakes. Add beets and let them hang out in there for another minute or two, giving it all a good stir when you feel like it.
Once the beets are glistening a little, add the potatoes and pour in enough water to cover the mixture with about two inches to spare. If you're a brothy soup lover, you might want to add a little more and up the salt/spice content. Bring it to a boil and let simmer for about half or three quarters of an hour, until the potatoes are cooked through and the water is a deep reddish purple. The longer it simmers, the more the flavor will steep into the broth.
Add the pasta and simmer until it's cooked through, according to its box's directions. You could probably also use rice, barley, or any other grain of your choice.
And there you have it: easy, delicious, nutritious borschtrone to keep you warm when the hunger forces you out of your blanket. The recipe is vegan, but if you're not, it would probably be awesome with a dollop of sour cream. (I didn't have any in the house, so I wouldn't know.)