"From Scratch" Food

Borscht with Fermented Beets

Borscht recipes certainly have many variations over the web and in many cookbooks. However, recipes to make Borscht with fermented beets are not so common! The majority of recipes on the web address making the soup, made with either beet pieces or blended, with fresh beets.  From a limited amount of reading I was able to find, the original Borscht was made with fermented beets in either Russia or Poland.

My beets pictured above were fermented for 2 weeks before stealing from the jar for the Borscht. However, the fermentation brine was mature and strong from a previous ferment so they tasted sour and ready for the soup after the two weeks.

To offset the sourness somewhat, I blended the beets and brine with a bean broth with onions, garlic, and salt.

While this creamy soup was slowly warming, a batch of whole wheat sourdough breadsticks went into the oven.

"From Scratch" Food

Leek Tourin


Gramps loved the mild soup. He tasted a seafood flavor in it! I wonder if it’s the lima bean broth base that I used for the soup?

  • 133 grams (4.7oz) dry large Lima beans (otherwise known as butter beans)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 large leeks, using only the bottom white part
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 T salt
  • 2 eggs

Cook together and then blend. If you have a Soyajoy G4, you can put all ingredients in together and set it for “drybeans” After 30 minutes the machine will beep and you will have a perfectly smooth cooked soup! Take out a couple of ladles of the soup and when they cool slightly in a bowl, whisk them with two already whisked eggs. Slowly pour the cooled tourin/egg mixture back into the steamy hot soup and transfer to a sauce pan to bring to a final boil before serving. In the photo above, the soup was topped with a homemade pesto made from basil plants growing in pots on our south facing back porch.

Note: The nicest large lima beans (butter beans) that I am able to find locally are “Dixie Lilly”.

"From Scratch" Food

Very Green Soup


This porridge is a delicious and nutritious smooth soup that tastes wonderful topped with some roasted almonds that have been crushed in our mortal and pesto. Below are ingredients for this soup:

  • 133 grams (4.7 oz) Cannellini beans soaked
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 small head Romaine lettuce
  • 14 oz bag frozen garden peas
  • 3T sugar
  • 1/2 T sea salt
  • After we cooked and blended all of these ingredients, we mixed in around 2 tablespoons of our butchered pig’s saved/refrigerated bacon fat to the finished hot soup before it was served into bowls.
"From Scratch" Food

Cauliflower Leek Soup


The flavor of this soup is enhanced by two tablespoons of our strained bacon fat that we keep refrigerated for special flavors. We used 1287 grams (5 1/2 c) of water, 56 g (2 oz) dried lima beans, a small cauliflower, a half of a small leek, and a 1/2 Tablespoon sea salt. We added this to our cooker and in a half hour had a smooth soup. Add a pinch of sweetener for a special treat. For a topping, we experimented with crispy fried Jimaca. We love Jimaca.

"From Scratch" Food

Celery Porridge


This foamy light soup delighted Gramps tonight during what was to become a below freezing night here in the south. The base of this soup is Cannellini bean broth. We poured the quart jar of cold Cannellini bean broth into our Blendtec blender along with six sticks of celery and 2 tablespoons of Herbes Salees spring onions. During the puréeing process, the bean broth foamed up and retained this pretty foam throughout the heating process and on the dinner table. This is a beautiful and delicious soup that didn’t need any additions but I couldn’t resist a spoonful of my own pesto! Gramps said he wants to see this porridge soup on the table soon again.

"From Scratch" Food

Our Soup Template List

Porridge:  thick and smooth, blended grains or blended veggies, bean milk or water base.

Parmentier:  potato-based, smooth  by mashing or blending , usually served warm as a soup or incorporated in another dish

Vichyssoise:  A creamy soup usually with potatoes and traditionally served cold with bean broth base

Borscht:  A sour soup, usually blended smooth, made from fermented vegetables but traditionally fermented beets and their juice.

Tourin:  A garlic based smooth soup thickened by tempering egg yolks.

Mulligatawny: curried smooth soup, traditionally made with a peppery base of broth and finished with a small amount of coconut milk.

Gramps and I created a quick list of the smooth soups that we use as templates for our dinner meals. These soups are international traditional favorites that are served in a variety of ways depending on geography, cultural, or religious celebrations. They each have key characteristics that can be honored as templates. Gramps comes up with the “mash-up” ideas and I do the gardening and cooking!


We will add new international soup types if they are accepted by Gramps as evening meal soup “keepers”.

Many family, friends, and community acquaintances who know Gramps believe that his “secret” of living so long while taking (even presently) very few daily prescriptions or over the counter medications is his strict adherence to moderation and schedule. Since he eats all foods in moderation and always has eaten this way, he can enjoy almost anything. In recent years, his digestion of dairy has weakened, so we always substitute dairy for non-dairy in kitchen recipes. A last very key point of Gramp’s daily life is his attitude of seeing “his cup always half full” and accepting each day for its hidden beauty.

"From Scratch" Food

Cheese Beer Porridge


I was very surprised and happy when Gramps said that he LOVED this soup! We make it with a creamy homemade soy milk and non-dairy cheese.

The first step in making this soup is to put 7 cups of water into the SoyaJoy G4 with 2 ounces of already soaked large lima beans. We also put in a cup of carrots and celery to cook. This creamy cooked porridge foundation was slowly added to a roux and shredded cheese. Slow cooking and constant stirring resulted in a thick cheese soup that, when thickened to boiling, was graced by up to two cups of beer, depending on how thin you like your soup. Warm up the soup again after the addition of the beer and serve! I liked my bowl with a generous portion of freshly picked parsley.