This stew is inspired by the one Prairie is cooking on Netflix’s The OA.
I have been binge watching The OA recently (I actually watched it twice), it’s one of the best TV show I have seen lately. The acting is brillant, the storyline original and it feels very different than most tv show in many ways. Anyone here is addicted to this show?
In episode 3, Prairie cooks a beet soup for her kidnapper, after some quick investigation I found out the soup is called a borsch, i’s a traditional russian soup that is often served during winter. While the traditional recipes call for beef and sour cream, I decided to replace the protein with fried marinated tofu and the cream with homemade cashew sour cream.
There are hundreds of different borsch recipes, some include bell peppers, potatoes or even celery, this is my version of this Russian stew. It includes carrots, shredded cabbage, onions and obviously beets, that gives this stew its beautiful dark red color.
I decided to cut beetroots in two different shapes to create more texture: cubed and shredded. The shredded beets are added halfway through cooking since they take less time to cook.
This recipe can’t be easier, the vegetables are simmered in a large pot for about one hour. You first add the cubed beetroot with carrots, salt and coconut sugar, and then after 30 minutes the shredded beetroots and cabbage. On the side, onions are caramelized in a skillet before being added to the broth. Caramelized onions add sweetness and flavor to this soup.
While the soup is cooking, the tofu is marinated in a simple mix of soy sauce, oil and maple syrup before being shallow-fried in a skillet until it starts to brown and caramelize.
Do you know the best thing about this recipe? You don’t even have to get your blender out!
Cashew sour cream is totally optional but highly recommended, it makes this soup creamier and contrasts with the natural sweetness of the beets. If you are making the cashew cream, make sure to soak your cashews at least 4 hours before starting.
I can guarantee this soup will warm you up and make you feel good! And if you have seen The OA: sleeping pills are not mandatory for this soup!
If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments and tag @fullofplants on Instagram!
- 9-ounces extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 11 cups (about 2,6 qt) water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 4 small beets
- 3 carrots
- ½ white cabbage
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- fresh parsley
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- ½ cup water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp lemon juice (or more to taste, depending on how sour you like it)
- Drain the tofu and wrap it in a paper towel. Place something heavy on top (a mason jar filled with water for example, or a heavy pan or skillet) and let the paper towel absorb the moisture for at least 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, combine the soy sauce, oil and maple syrup in a bowl.
- Unwrap the tofu, and cut it into small cubes, transfer it to the marinade bowl and toss to coat it with the marinade. Let it marinate while you prepare the soup.
- About 5 minutes before the soup is ready, heat one tablespoon oil in a large iron skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy.
- Heat the water over medium heat in a large pan or stewpot. Add the salt and coconut sugar.
- It's time to prepare the vegetables. For the beets: wash and peel them. Cut two of them into ½-inch cubes and roughly shred the other two. For the carrots: wash and peel them, and cut them into bite-size matchsticks. For the white cabbage: discard the core, slice the cabbage into ¾-inch thick slices.
- Add the cubed beetroot and the carrots to the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and add the sliced onions. Cook for about 10 minutes until they start to brown and caramelize. Stir in the tomato paste and remove from heat. Transfer the caramelized onions and the tomato paste to the soup pot.
- After 30 minutes, add the cabbage and shredded beetroot to the pot and let simmer covered for another 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the raw chopped garlic and lemon juice.
- Divide into serving bowls, top with the fried tofu, a dollop of cashew cream and fresh parley.
- The soup will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It can also be served cold.
- Drain the soaked cashews and rince them under cold water.
- Place them in a blender with the water and blend on high, scraping the sides from time to time until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. Stir in the salt and lemon juice and blend a few more seconds. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon juice if needed.
- Transfer to a small bowl, cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.