Recipe originally posted on October 1, 2011.
It’s been six years since I’ve shared my Bodacious Beet and Cabbage Soup recipe on this blog. It was a chilly autumn day in the northern interior of British Columbia and my fridge was bursting with beets. I had two little children underfoot and one growing in my belly. I remember looking at the beets in my fridge with trepidation. The last time I had attempted a beet soup was in my university days and it had been awful. Newly married, I was terribly embarrassed by my lack of beet soup prowess; my husband, however, claimed it was the best soup ever. He’s such a great guy.
Faced with beets once again, I wanted to redeem myself and make a beet soup bursting with flavour. I pulled out whatever else I had in my fridge: sausage, cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes and garlic, and put everything in a slow cooker to simmer away. That evening we had unexpected visitors, my two siblings, and the soup was a hit!
To this day my Bodacious Beet and Cabbage Soup is a kitchen staple in the autumn months. The soup itself is very easy and forgiving. I’m always altering it, adding different ratios of ingredients or new ingredients and it always ends up delicious.
The soup has even been transformed into a delicious dehydrated backpacking meal by my sister. Apparently it made for a great meal while she was out exploring Kakwa Provincial Park, something I will have to try soon (that is: dehydrating the soup and going to Kakwa).
Bodacious Beet and Cabbage Soup
Inspired by Ukrainian Borscht Soup
Serves a lot of hungry people! (8 – 10)
- 500g (1 lb) Italian sausages (mild or spicy), casing removed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 Tbps. tomato paste
- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2-3 large carrots, grated
- 2-3 medium potatoes, cubed
- 2 large beets, peeled and grated
- 1/4 – 1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 cups stewed tomatoes
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 5 cups beef stock
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- sour cream to serve
- fresh marjoram or oregano to serve
You can cook this soup on a stove top or in a slow cooker. The choice it yours. The directions here are for a slow cooker but adapting the recipe to stove top shouldn’t be difficult.
Add the sausage (removed from their casings) and chopped onion to a preheated frying pan on medium-high heat. Break up the sausage into smaller bit and fry until meat and onion are nicely golden brown. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Scrape the sausage and onions into the slow cooker and using two cups of stock (either one) deglaze (clean) the frying pan. Be sure to scrape up all those yummy bottom bits. Add this stock into the slow cooker.
Add a splash of olive oil to the pan and fry up the carrots, cabbage and beets until slightly tender. If you’ve got too much stuff for your frying pan, divide and conquer. When done, add two more cups of stock to deglaze (clean) the frying pan. Add this stock into the slow cooker too.
Toss the cubed potatoes to the slow cooker and anything else you’d like to toss in. The slow cooker or pot might be quite full, depending on the size of your cooker. Add extra water or stock until you like the consistency of the soup. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook on high heat for 2 – 3 hours or low heat for 4-6 hours. Taste. Adjust seasoning. Enjoy with sour cream.