Ukrainian Cold Beet Soup (Borscht)

Borscht is an earthy wonder from the cooler climates of the Ukraine, Russia and much of the Balkans. Harsh weather makes growing most herbs and vegetables very difficult. Root vegetables and herbs like dill do well in this environment. A good part of the cuisine of the Eastern Europe are dominated by these ingredients. In the Ukraine and Russia, a homey soup of beets and beef reigns supreme. It’s in the summer when the lighter, cold version of borscht comes to life with additions of buttermilk, cream, and sour cream.

Borscht – Cold Beet Soup

This is a real summer treat – sort-of the Eastern European beet version of Spain's gazpacho. It is incredibly easy to make, especially with a jar or can of peeled beets. Even without, it's not too laborious to do fresh. The addition of cream turns the dark red borscht into an appetizing bright pink.
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Eastern European, Ukraine
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Food Processor or blender
  • large saucepan with cover

Ingredients

  • 24 oz Can or jar of peeled beets
  • 4 cups Vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 medium Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp White vinegar
  • 1 large Lemon, juiced
  • tsp Ground cumin
  • 3 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ cup Heavy cream
  • ½ cup Buttermilk (optional)
  • ½ cup Sour cream
  • 2 tbsp Fresh dill, chopped (1 tsp dried)

Instructions

  • Drain canned beets and cut into ½ dice. Pour broth into a large saucepan and add onions, and beets. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, cumin, vinegar, and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste.
    Place saucepan in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 4 hours to chill and blend.
    To serve, pour cold soup into a large bowl through a strainer, separating out and discarding the solids. Mix in cream and if using, buttermilk, to turn soup from deep red to pink. Serve in individual soup bowls sprinkled with dill and a dollop of sour cream in the middle. Optionall;. serve in a large bowl sprinkled with dill and serve sour cream on the side.

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