Some people love a beet soup that is rich and heavy on the cream. I love a beet soup that is light, tangy and fresh with just a hint of heat. Light enough for Spring, yet hearty enough for Winter, this Ginger Lime Borscht is a versatile, detoxifying, ruby-coloured soup that effortlessly covers the seasons while providing a mega-dose of nutrients to help you heal and sustain.
This soup is easily adapted to your personal palate by simply adjusting the flavour levels. For a cozy Winter indulgence, add a little extra ginger, lighten up on the lime juice, and add a good dollop of coconut cream. For a light Spring fling, go all in with the lime and leave the coconut cream for another shindig!
Beets are an acquired taste for some, but their earthy, iron-rich flavour is worth finding an appreciation for. If you’ve ever heard that dark red foods and dark leafy greens are helpful for building blood in the body, beets are the perfect example of why this is true. They are packed full of nutrients that are required for the body to make and sustain an appropriate blood supply – this includes some iron, as well as vitamin C, folate, fibre, vitamin B6, and various antioxidants, phytonutrients and minerals.
Though beets won’t cure your anemia on their own, they are a significant veggie to consider if you are working towards that goal, alongside leafy greens, liver, red meats, shellfish, prunes, egg yolks and more.
Beets can also aid in muscle and cognitive performance. This happens through a process of nitrates becoming nitrites, and then nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide helps maintain blood flow, balances glucose and calcium, and regulates muscle contraction, neurotransmitters, and more during periods of lower oxygen (such as when you are exercising, or studying). By relaxing muscles and dilating blood vessels, NO helps the body use oxygen more efficiently, and therefore increases your body’s abilities.
Cautions with beets
1) If you are sensitive to oxalates, or have a kidney impairment, go easy on the blood-building foods such as beets and dark leafy greens!
2) As to beets turning your urine and stools pink or red – not to worry! That is simply caused by the carotenes (pigment) not being absorbed as well.
3) Beets are one veggie you can keep to smaller doses! Some people can experience nausea and diarrhea when they consume too high a quantity of beets. Keep your servings small, and eat alongside other veggies and proteins to prevent this reaction.
Otherwise, enjoy your beets with this Ginger Lime Borscht, and reap the benefits!
This soup was featured in the new Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP community cookbook! To find more mouthwatering, freezer-friendly recipes, you can click the link here or in the sidebar to learn more. Perhaps this book will help you with all your meal prep goals in 2018!
Ginger Lime Borscht (Serves 16)
1 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil
½ red or yellow onion, chopped fine
1 large clove garlic, minced
3-4 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp turmeric
5 large beets, chopped small
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
½ medium apple, peeled and chopped
½ zucchini, peeled and chopped
2 limes, zest and juice
Squeeze lime juice (optional)
Swirl coconut cream (optional)
Add oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté for approximately 5-10 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add turmeric and salt and sauté another 5 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add chopped beets, stir, and then add water and broth. Cover and simmer on medium heat until beets are almost soft, approximately 30 minutes. Add apple and zucchini and simmer until beets are fully soft, another 15-20 minutes. Turn off element and allow mixture to cool. Once cool, use your immersion blender or Vitamix to blend until smooth, adding lime zest and juice at this time. Freeze, or serve hot by bringing back to a gentle simmer. Serve with a fresh squeeze of lime juice or a creamy swirl of coconut milk.
Make sure soup is cool. Pour into jars or glass containers in desired serving sizes (pint jars for single serve, or larger for family meals). Leave an inch of space at top of jars to prevent the jars from cracking or exploding as they freeze, twist the lids on loosely, label with date and name, and place in freezer. Once frozen, lids may be tightened to keep contents fresh. Soup should stay fresh and flavourful for up to 6 months.
Defrost soup for an hour or so before heating gently on the stove. Avoid boiling to preserve enzymes in the lime juice. Taste, and add extra lime juice if needed for a refresh or swirl with coconut cream for a more luxurious dish. Enjoy!