Borscht with Cumin and Crumbs

Kids are often fussy eaters. So you know you’ve cooked something really good when the little ones like it.

Here’s my grandson sipping up soup. Borscht to be exact. I’ve been experimenting with different versions. A few days ago I posted one for Borscht with Orange and Mint. But this one’s equally delicious. I have to confess the idea for this version came from a sample of Beet Borscht I tasted at Per Se, that fabulous, fabulous food heaven in New York. No, this recipe is not up to Thomas Keller’s restaurant standards.

But it is good and will do! 

Borscht with Cumin and Crumbs

  • 3 large or 4-5 medium beets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cream, coconut milk or soy milk, optional
  • 2 slices rye bread with caraway seeds

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for about an hour, or until the beets are tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Chop the beets and set them aside. Reserve any natural liquids that have accumulated. Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion, apple, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ingredients have softened. Add the beets (plus any accumulated juices), cumin, salt and pepper and stir. Pour in the water. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pan to heat through. For a creamier, thinner soup, add the cream. Toast the bread slices. Chop or hand crumble the bread into the soup as a garnish.

Makes 4-6 servings