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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Using the Liquid from a Can of Beets

I actually made this using the liquid from 2 cans of beets. These were plain canned beets NOT pickled beets. Canned beets are generally just beets, water and salt (you can sometimes find beets canned in water-only). Some of the beet nutrients and flavors leech into the canning water, making canned beet liquid a by-product worth saving.

I had been saving this liquid for a couple of weeks (although I've read you should use it within about 1 week), waiting for an opportunity to use it. One day last week, the cold and rainy weather motivated me to make a nice soup for the 4 of us, using up the beet liquid. In addition to the beet liquid, I used half of a small onion, a small carrot, a bit of vegetable oil, potato flakes, and chicken bouillon.

I cooked the diced onions and carrots in the vegetable oil until translucent, then added the beet liquid and a little water, cooking until the veggies were soft. Next, I stirred in enough potato flakes to thicken and the bouillon to flavor. That was it. It came out creamy and lightly beet-flavored. This was such a hit with my daughters that they've agreed to save the liquid from cans of beets that they buy for themselves (yes, they like canned beets that much, they'll buy some just for themselves).

Just another way to use a food by-product that might otherwise be tossed out.


  1. I like beets, but my husband doesn't it. I wonder if this soup would be mild enough that he would like it. I see you put together a lot of soups using this basic recipe and they all sound good. I need to remember it when I'm trying to figure out what to have for dinner.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I found the flavor to be very mild. But you know what I've discovered in life? When someone has a dislike for a particular food, they seem to be able to taste and smell it more strongly than the rest of us. And I include myself in this. I'm this way with liver. I can smell it when other people can't. So, your husband may find the beet liquid too strong a beet flavor, too. But yes, on the soup preparation. I do follow the same pattern, cook hard veggies in oil, then add liquid to finish the cooking. I like the caramelization of the hard veggies when slightly browned.

  2. What a great idea! I like beets and am looking forward to trying this soup. I like the idea of not pouring the beet liquid the drain.

    1. Hi Frances,
      Me too -- I like being able to use something I might have thrown away previously. And I really did enjoy this soup. I hope you do, too!

  3. Great idea! Do you have other canned veggies that you think would work for that? I've read before that the liquid from canned beans is useful as a substitute for egg whites.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I read that, too, about canned garbanzo bean liquid. I have yet to try it, though. And I don't know in what capacity this works as a substitute for egg whites. I'll have to do some reading on this. On using the liquid from other canned veggies, I use the liquid from canned corn in a recipe for corn pudding. My cookbook actually calls for this liquid. I sometimes use the liquid from canned green beans and canned carrots, but those liquids don't have a lot of flavor. However, I figure it's saving me a small amount of water that I have to pay for if I use those canned veggie liquids.


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