Borscht with Sauerkraut and Honey

Borscht with Sauerkraut and Honey
credit Alex Lau, Bon Appetit

Adapted from a recipe on Bon Appetit

500 gr inexpensive beef (chuck, blade, sirloin tip)
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin half moons
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
3 large beets
2 x 400 ml tins of  sauerkraut, with juices (about 3 cups home made)
156 ml tinned tomato paste (about 6 oz)
2/3 cup honey
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the beef into 1/4″ pieces and add to a large pot with the bay leaf, onion, caraway seeds, and 2 litres of water. Bring to a bubble over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer at least 2 hours until the meat is tender.
  3. While the meat is simmering, wash the beets and trim the dirty tips and ends. Roast them on a foil lined baking dish about 45 minutes or until tender.
  4. Peel the beets and then cut them into 1/4″ pieces.
  5. When the meat is tender, add the chopped beets, the sauerkraut with its juice, the tomato paste, and just enough water to cover the soup by 1 inch. Simmer another 10 minutes.
  6. Add the honey, stirring to dissolve it, and simmer another 15 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and a sprinkle of chopped chives or thinly sliced green onion.


Note: It may seem like a lot of honey, and certainly add less to your taste. It is needed to balance off the salt and sour from sauerkraut.



Autumn Squash Soup with Sage and Honey

A quick and easy one-pot dish. Serves 4 as a light meal or 6 as a starter.

2 tbsp butter or bacon fat or oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
375 gr butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
375 gr acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 tsp rosemary, dried (chop it small)
1/4 tsp thyme, dried
1/4 tsp savory leaves, dried
1 tsp sage leaves, rubbed
3 tbsp cream (optional)
2 tsp honey

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp parsley, minced
12 baguette slices
1/2 cup grated pecorino, parmesan, Swiss or goat cheese
fresh cracked black


Toasted Nuts and Seeds
1/2 cup your choice of toasted nuts and seeds
Try pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, or toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 10 minutes. (If it starts to brown a bit, turn down the heat. It’s not the end of the world – you’ll just have brown bits in your soup.)
  2. Add the broth, squash, and herbs. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Simmer until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, purée soup right in the pot. (If using a regular blender, purée in batches, being very careful to firmly hold down the lid covered with a cloth to avoid exploding hot soup. When puréed, return the soup to the pot.)
  5. Stir in cream (if using) and honey, and bring to simmer. Season with salt (if using) and cracked pepper.

Croutons – prepare them while the soup is simmering

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. In a bowl, combine butter and parsley. You may not use it all, but it’s delicious for toast or on potatoes and vegetables, as a finish for meat.
  3. Shmear 1 side of each bread slice with the herb butter.
  4. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute.
  5. Remove from oven, sprinkle with grated cheese and cracked pink or black pepper. Do this when the soup is almost ready.
  6. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove pan from oven.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with 2 or 3 croutons, or a sprinkle of the toasted nuts/seeds.

Tips / Suggestions

  • You can use just butternut or just acorn squash if you don’t want to buy both.
  • Weigh the squash AFTER you peel and seed it – which means you need to buy about 20% extra to account for that.
  • Don’t like peeling squash? Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut side down in a baking dish. Add water to a depth of about 1/2″. Roast in a 425 degree oven until softened. Length of time depends type and size of squash – check by piercing with a paring knife and when it easily slides through the flesh, the squash is ready. Remove from oven and carefully scoop out the hot flesh. You won’t need as much cooked as raw, so go for about 300 gr-ish of each.
  • Bacon fat gives a rich flavour – save the drippings next time you fry some up. We like Irvings Farm bacon.
  • We mae the croutons using The Cheesiry Pecorino, and a baguette from SaveOn Foods

Recipe adapted from one by Image copyright, used with permission.