Soup’s on: Reader recipe contest winners

Beth Wallace’s borscht took the crown in Ohio Cooperative Living’s reader recipe contest.

Beth Wallace loves to cook — and she really loves to cook soup. That’s a great thing for her husband, Victor, who says his wife’s soups make up the majority of his favorite meals.

But her borscht is THE favorite. Its flavors are as bright as its beet-red color, and since its ingredients can be tweaked depending on what’s in season, it makes a great meal any time of year.

It’s also the winner in Ohio Cooperative Living‘s Meatless Main Dish 2019 reader recipe contest, earning a new Ohio-made KitchenAid stand mixer for Wallace, a Carroll Electric Cooperative member from Malvern.

“I love to put soup on in the morning and let it simmer all day,” she says. “The house fills with the wonderful aroma while we’re working on different things and has us looking forward to dinner the whole time.”

Wallace says she doesn’t remember which of the more than 800 cookbooks she has owned at one time or another that the recipe came from (her current stash is “only” about 150), but it doesn’t really matter because she tweaks the ingredients almost every time she makes it.

“I may throw in turnips or parsnips instead of carrots or potatoes on any given day, or use different kinds of mushrooms or leave them out altogether,” she says, “but the point is that it’s really hearty, even though there’s no meat in it.”

Borscht
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Borscht
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 3 large potatoes (in medium chunks)
  • 2 large carrots (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color, chopped)
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small head cabbage (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup dill (fresh or dried)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (fresh or dried)
  • 3 celery stalks (diced)
  • 1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 3 large beets (or 4 beets, fresh is best) peeled and grated
  • sour cream for garnish (optional)
  • Sliced green olives (optional)
  • dark crusty rolls or rye bread (for serving)
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat water (or vegetable stock) until steaming in a stockpot.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until tender. Add potatoes and sauté until tender. Transfer entire mixture to stockpot.
  3. Add carrots and bell pepper to skillet and sauté until tender. Add to stockpot. Add tomatoes with liquid to pot. Add cabbage to pot and simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Add dill, parsley, celery, mushrooms, bay leaves, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, and peppercorns. Add grated beets and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green olives. Serve with rolls or bread.
Recipe Notes

Per serving: 287 calories, 95 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 48 grams total carbs, 11 grams fiber, 7 grams protein.

Findlay resident Lauren Hoffa, a member of Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, has spent more than a year tweaking a recipe she found online, and the resulting version of Thai cabbage salad earned one of the runner-up honors in the contest.

“My husband and I are becoming more intentional with our daily vegetable intake,” Hoffa says. “When I make a meal, I try to maximize the vegetables while I pack in a lot of flavor and texture. I love the crunch of cabbage and the buttery texture of the avocado in this salad.”

Thai Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing
Print Recipe
Thai Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing
Print Recipe
Ingredients
For the dressing
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • zest of 1 lime (approx. 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablepsoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 1-inch square piece fresh ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
For the salad
  • 4 cups choppd napa cabbage (or shredded coleslaw mix)
  • 1 cup prepared shredded carrots
  • 1 Avocado (roughly chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced to bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 small cucumber (halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup cooked and shelled edamame (can use frozen)
  • 1 15-ounce can yellow corn, drained
  • 2 medium scallions (thinly sliced)
Servings:
Instructions
Dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Salad
  1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy. Note: I like to toss in a little shredded red cabbage for color.
Recipe Notes

Per serving: 349 calories, 18 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat), 42 grams total carbs, 8 grams fiber, 13 grams protein.

Firelands Electric Cooperative member Judy White got her recipe for winter squash pizza, the other runner-up dish, from her sister, Jo, who Judy says often re-creates restaurant dishes she particularly enjoys. The addition of feta instead of mozzarella or even goat cheese gives it an unexpected twang of flavor.

“We like to cook out of our own garden, so we make this pizza all fall and winter after we bring in the butternut harvest,” White says. “It fills the kitchen with a wonderful aroma, especially if you use fresh rosemary.”

Winter Squash Pizza
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
75 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
75 minutes
Winter Squash Pizza
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
75 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
75 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds winter squash (peeled and sliced into thin pieces, can use more than 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 large onion (sliced very thin, not diced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon dried crumbled sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper (or less)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 large pizza crust (or 2 medium crusts)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (or more)
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Mix the squash, onion, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons olive oil and place in a 9 x 13-inch pan, cover with foil, and bake at 325 F for about an hour, until tender but not mushy. If you take off the foil for 10 minutes near the end, the onions will caramelize and become sweeter, but that is optional.
  2. Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, chopped garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and spread on pizza crust(s). Sprinkle Parmesan on top. Arrange the squash/onion mixture onto the crust. Finally, top with crumbled feta cheese.
  3. Bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes or until as brown as you like it.
Recipe Notes

Per serving: 339 calories, 21 grams fat (9 grams saturated fat), 23 grams total carbs, 3.5 grams fiber, 14 grams protein.

Both runners-up received vegetarian cookbooks for their entries.