Beet Borscht w/ Crispy Basil

Yup, it's another recipe courtesy of the shiny new juicer... (I promise the next recipe won't require the magic of the juicer) So that being said, here is a twist on beet borscht. Mum didn't answer her phone, so I was left to guess what ingredients compose this staple soup. Let's just say it turned out better than Mum's! Shhhh let's just keep this quiet, she probably wouldn't be too thrilled at being out-cooked!

3 cups baby red potatoes, cubed to 1/2"
4 cups water <*measure water, as the potato water will be used as a base for the soup>
Bring potatoes to boil, then simmer for while you prep remaining ingredients.

(Prep the following ingredients but do not juice them yet)
8 carrots (large) ***MUST be peeled and washed, as pulp (from juicing) is later used in soup
7 celery stalks
2 cups purple cabbage, roughly chopped
4 vine tomatoes, washed and halved
4-5 beets, peeled and "ended" (chop off the top and long root), then cut into quarters
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
7-9 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
1 cup sweet basil, roughly chopped

At this point, check potatoes; if tender, transfer potatoes and potato water into over-sized pot and set aside. To the potatoes, add the shallots, garlic, dill and basil.

Now for the juicing part....(add all fresh juices to soup pot immediately)
START with the carrots. The carrots should produce 1 3/4 cups of juice (adjust number of carrots needed, accordingly) Add carrot juice to pot. Turn off and unplug juicer, and remove 2 cups of pulp. Add pulp to the soup; then reassemble juicer, plug in and turn on... resume by juicing the celery (should produce 3/4 cup juice,  again adjust amount of celery as needed to produce sufficient juice), continue with the tomatoes (should produce 1 1/4 cups juice), and next juice the cabbage (should produce 1/2 cup juice). Now, move on to the beets.*( It is very important that they have been peeled even though most juicers do not require vegetables to be peeled; beets are a gnarly root vegetable, and not only is the skin foul tasting, it can be difficult to clean properly.) Also, ensure that the beets are quartered, as the are tough and give the juicer quite a work out. Beets should produce 2 cups juice, adjust number of beets accordingly to produce exactly 2 cups of beet juice. 

Season soup with
1 tsp freshly ground pepper 
and 2 tsp course sea salt

Over med-low heat, simmer for half an hour to 45 min.

Next prepare the Crispy Basil...
1 cup sweet basil, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup canola oil

In small (2-cup) saucepan, heat oil to boiling point. Carefully add basil (about 1/3 at a time) and fry till crispy. Set on paper towel to blot off excess oils.

Optional*** add 2 tbsp of the oil which you fried the basil in, to the soup (oil will be green). If following a low fat diet, omit this step, however the flavored oil adds a lovely finish to the soup.

When soup is finished simmering, serve topped with crispy basil. <*If following a non-vegan diet, add a dollop of sour cream>