Creamy Borscht - Russian-Style Beet and Cabbage Soup

I've long been a fan of borscht, but I've never enjoyed it as much as when I made it this way - and never enjoyed it this way as much as when I finally bit the bullet last week and experimented with making it in my crockpot/ slowcooker! I cooked it for around 4 hours on high, but next time I shall cook it on low for double the time - the slow simmering is what makes this borscht so great, regardless of the method! There are only two of us, so I freeze the extra portions.

750 g (1-1/2 lb) raw beetsroot, peeled and diced OR same of cooked* [see my note below] 
1 small cabbage, very thinly sliced
1/2 small carrot, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
1.5 litres (2-1/2 pints or 6 US cups) vegetable stock (homemade if you have it)
sea salt to taste (depending on the saltiness of your stock)
freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 Tbsp vinegar (taste carefully as you add it)
vegan yoghurt or sour 'creme' for garnish
grated cucumber for garnish

Put all the vegetables in the slow cooker and add the stock. Cook on high for around 4 hours.

Put the soup in a blender** in batches, season with salt and pepper and add a Tbsp of vinegar, then another half Tbsp depending on your taste. Return to slow cooker and reheat. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with the 'creme' and grated cucumber. Fit for a prince!

*If you are lazy like me, you may want to boil a batch of beets up one day - to use for another dish - and reserve the amount of beets needed for this soup. In that case, I like to boil the beets in their skins and then plunge them into cold water. That way the skins just slip off - far less trouble and less mess, and the beets are easier to dice. Then you can add the cooked beets to the other ingredients as above. The soup is good either way.

**You could of course use an immersion blender - after covering yourself with a bedsheet ;=) but the glory of this soup is its creaminess, and I find the slightly slower way in the blender works best.

Posted by Pat to Vegan_Crockpot_Cooking
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