Vegan Borscht with Cashew and Horseradish Cream

, from Issue #66. June, 2016
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Vegan Borscht with Cashew and Horseradish Cream

Borscht gets a vegan makeover in my version of this traditional Eastern European beetroot soup (it’s usually made with beef stock/bones). A dairy-free cashew cream spiked with horseradish adds the perfect bright note. 

Serves: 6


olive oil for sautéing
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 medium beetroot, peeled and grated

2 litres good-quality vegetable stock
Cashew and horseradish cream
1 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked in water for 6 hours, rinsed and drained well
½ cup water
3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

2 teaspoon prepared horseradish (or more to taste)
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste 


Heat a very generous glug of olive oil in a large soup pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook until the onion is tender and translucent.

Add the fennel seeds, ground cumin, curry powder and cinnamon. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the grated beetroot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently – add a little water if the pot becomes dry.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes before cooking at a simmer for a further 30 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use a blender or stick blender to puree the soup until very smooth.

Cashew and horseradish cream: Use a high-speed blender or powerful hand blender to process all the cashew cream ingredients until very smooth. Taste and season generously with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Divide soup between bowls. Top with cold or room temperature cashew cream and a grind of black pepper.