Tarragon Borscht and Surprise Guest

Good morning happy people! How was your weekend? Oh, good. What did you do? Seriously? How fun!

I’m really hoping you all did something more than laundry and grocery shopping (that’s usually Ben’s and my routine too), or else that little tidbit above is going to make me sound really insincere and condescending. But the sentiment still remains – I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I’ll be detailing mine here tomorrow. But for today – I have a very special guest for you all.

I met our guest, Lindsay through a mutual friend (Hi, Carly!) and was immediately struck by her radiant personality, style, zest and love of healthy vegetarian food. As a lover of meat and things notoriously bad for me (cake, chocolate, carbs, red meat, more chocolate) – I am so inspired by Lindsay and Laura’s quest for delicious meals, veggified.

Their blog Forlou, is a staple in my reading with beautiful, colorful food and fashion with an eco- and vegetarian twist. A must read. I asked them to share a special recipe with you all today and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. They’re beautiful girls, inside and out.

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We’re honored to guest post on Wanna Be a Country Cleaver! Laura and I started our food and fashion blog Forlou last summer and we’ve had an awesome time posting vegetarian recipes and animal-friendly fashion. Some of the recipes are original creations and others are inspired by blogs, our favorite cookbooks, or dishes we’ve tried in restaurants and simply had to recreate. Today’s post is an original recipe invented by my brother and here’s how it all got started…

When I jumped on the vegetarian bandwagon with Laura a year ago, I had no idea if my family would be supportive. But for Christmas Eve while I was visiting my brother in Los Angeles he made an unbelievably delicious borscht soup. He says he made it because beets just happened to be in season, but I know better. It’s is the best borscht soup I’ve ever had and I think the caramelized onions and nutmeg are what give this soup its irresistible sweetness. It’s great with sour cream or Gruyere and is surprisingly good with walnuts. So my brother has now made two things in my life that I can never forget—lavender loquat ice cream and this tarragon borscht.

Begin with peeling, chopping and removing all stems from your ingredients.

In a large pot melt the butter over low heat and add the onions. Once the onions are translucent (about 5 min) add the white wine and stir until the onions have absorbed some of the wine (about 6 min).

Add the beets, chard and potato to the pot and add enough water to cover veggies (about 6 cups). Simmer until veggies are cooked through.

Remove the tarragon leaves from the stems and add to the pot. Working in two batches, place the mixture in a blender leaving room for the steam to escape. Blend until smooth.

Return mixture to the pot and let simmer. Add the paprika and nutmeg. Add the cream slowly while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Thank you girls so very much! I’m off to the store to stock up!

Yield: 4

Tarragon Borscht

Ingredients:

1/2 medium yellow onion
2 oz. unsalted butter
2 oz. white wine
2 bunches beets
1 bunch red Swiss chard
1 russet potato
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Cut the potatoes into cubes and remove the leaves from the chard and the beets. Peel the beets and cut into cubes. Roughly chop the chard stalks and the onions. In a large pot melt the butter over low heat and add the onions. Once the onions are translucent (about 5 min) add the white wine and stir until the onions have absorbed some of the wine (about 6 min).

Add the beets, chard and potato to the pot and add enough water to cover veggies (about 6 cups). Simmer until veggies are cooked through.
Remove the tarragon leaves from the stems and add to the pot. Working in two batches, place the mixture in a blender leaving room for the steam to escape. Blend until smooth.

Return mixture to the pot and let simmer. Add the paprika and nutmeg. Add the cream slowly while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Geoffrey Hoshaw for Forlou