The pigment that gives beets their rich,
purple-crimson color—betacyanin—is also a powerful cancer-fighting agent. Beets’ potential effectiveness against colon cancer, in particular, has been demonstrated in several studies. So that’s additional reason to enjoy this hearty winter soup.
Makes 4 to 6 servings | Prep time: 20 minutes | Minimum cook time: 4 hours in a medium slow cooker
1 (11⁄4 to 11⁄2-pound) beef brisket
2 large boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
11⁄2 pounds beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups Beef Stock (page 23) or purchased stock
2 cups firmly packed shredded green cabbage (about 1⁄4 small head)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sour cream, optional
1. Preheat the oven broiler, and line a broiler pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Broil beef for 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer beef to the slow cooker, and pour in any juices that have collected in the pan.
2. Place potatoes, beets, and onion in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Chop finely using the on-and-off pulsing action or chop by hand. Scrape mixture into the slow cooker.
3. Add stock, cabbage, sugar, and lemon juice into the slow cooker, and stir well. Cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours, or until beef is tender.
4. Remove beef from the slow cooker with tongs, and cut across the grain into thin slices. Set aside. Remove 1⁄3 of vegetables from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Puree vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade or in a blender until smooth. Return puree to soup, and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot, placing slices of beef in each bowl. Pass sour cream separately, if using.
Borscht, always made with beets and sometimes made with meat, is of Russian and
Polish origin. It was popular with the Jews who emigrated from those countries in the late nineteenth century, and by the 1930s, resorts
in New York’s Catskill Mountains that featured
Jewish entertainers became known as the “Borscht Belt.”
The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it, covered, over low heat,
- Substitute chicken stock for the beef stock, and substitute boneless, skinless chicken meat, cut into 3⁄4-inch cubes, for the beef. The
cooking time can be reduced by 2 hours on Low or 1 hour on High.
Cider Mill Press loves slow cookers (especially during our cold Maine winters!), so we've developed a cookbook for every lifestyle! Our eight cookbooks feature everything from Gluten-Free to Paleo to Low-Acid and Low-Carb meals for the slow cooker, with recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and side dishes.