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Chilled borscht recipe

Chilled borscht recipe


  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Vegetable soup
  • Root vegetable soup
  • Borscht

Ruby-red and intensely flavoured, this soup looks stunning swirled with sour cream. Serve as a starter or light lunch with slices of rye bread.

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 400g cooked fresh beetroot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp soured cream or crème fraîche
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh mint to garnish (optional)

MethodPrep:2hr10min ›Ready in:2hr10min

  1. Blend the beetroot with the shallots, stock and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Add the soured cream or crème fraîche and blend once more. Season to taste. (Rinse out the blender or processor bowl immediately after use so that it doesn't stain.)
  2. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Serve in small cups or individual bowls. Fresh mint makes a pretty garnish that contrasts well with the vivid red of the soup.

COOK SMART

*If using raw beetroot, scrub them under running water, cover with plenty of cold water, add salt, and cook for at least 2½ hours (or 1 hour in a pressure cooker). Alternatively, bake small beetroot in a baking tin with a little water for 2 hours at 180°C (gas 4). *You can buy vacuum-packed cooked beetroot readily from the supermarket salad selection. Don't use the type preserved in vinegar.

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Cold Borscht - Chilled and the Best for Summer!

For those of you who don't know, I'm married to a Russian. Another fact that isn't widely known is that Russian food is absolutely delicious! If you are already in the know about this, you're probably nodding your head, but the rest of you, well, you might be skeptical. I swear though, when done well, its the best!

When you think of Russian food, borscht is probably what comes to mind, if not first, pretty close to it. This pink beet soup is an Eastern European classic. I was surprised how much I loved it when I tried the hot version since I wasn't a huge beet fan at the time (surprising I know since I put beets in everything now, even cupcakes and hummus).

I tried cold borscht for the first time on a hot summer day at my husband's grandmother's apartment in central Moscow, about a block away from Red Square. About as Russian as it gets.

After touristing around the city all morning, dripping sweat while nursing mind splitting hangovers, we were exhausted and in need of something refreshing. Yes, it actually gets hot in Moscow and no, don't try to keep up with a Russian when drinking vodka.

Moscow gets that sticky kind of summer humidity that makes you dart into random stores for just a few minutes of air conditioning and crave anything and everything that will lower your temperature, even just by two degrees for two minutes.

Summer borscht to the rescue! I have always been a topping fiend so, in addition to the delicious savory taste, I adore the process of dolling it up with egg, sour cream, veggies, and herbs. It makes this soup a fun lunch experience. Its not just your standard dump into a bowl kind of chowder or stew. Its a whole process. Not a complicated one, but a personalized, individual process that can be tweaked to your tastebuds' unique preferences.

You can definitely make cold borscht vegetarian by using veggie broth, and vegan by leaving out the sour cream and egg. but those are some of the best parts! The sour cream is what gives it that creamy tang so you'll have to replace it with some kind of vegan substitute to get the full affect. And the egg provides more protein so vegans will have to slip some beans in or serve with a side to make it filling enough.

So, if you're not familiar with borscht, you might be wondering what this tastes like. It does have a bit of a beet-like flavor, but, as I mentioned earlier, even beet haters love it. It take all of the best characteristics from beets (sweetness, color, etc.) and leaves the earthiness that most people hate behind. There's a hint of dill and a tangy richness from the sour cream that is just so satisfying.

This happens to be a great first recipe to try cold borscht too. Its simple, doesn't require boiling or baking the beets separately or simmering for hours. Plus, it got the stamp of approval from two legitimate Russians now. My mother-in-law was openly skeptical when I told her I was making cold borscht for lunch, but actually ended up thinking it turned out great.

My husband thinks its the best and has been asking me to make it again ever since. I think the key is getting the salt level right. If it tastes inexplicably bland, add more salt, just a few pinches at a time, until it tastes robust and balanced. So much of cooking just depends on balancing the salt and sweet aspects of a recipe. Get the acidity right on top of that and you've got that killer combo that makes a dish truly excellent.

Knowing this was a summer recipe, I tried to reduce cook time as much as possible. Most cold borscht recipes roast or boil the beets separately and then add them to the soup later on. While this makes the soup lighter in color, it also makes it take a loooong time. Who wants to be hovering over a pot of steamy liquid on a summer day? Not I, so, I minimized that.

I really don't think it affected the flavor one bit. I love getting away with short cuts like this. Makes me feel like a legitimate kitchen prowess, irregardless of how simple the switch out is.

Oh, and not to brag or anything, buttt, those radishes came from our garden. As did the dill. And I milked the cow that created that sour cream. Okay, jk on that last one. but seriously, our garden is killing it this year! My husband's green thumb is truly paying off. We've got zucchini as big as a small child (oops), tomatoes, berries, eggplant, and so many other goodies. I've been posting our daily veggie haul to Instagram stories whenever I remember so if you're a garden nut, follow along with us. If his plant care translates in any way shape or form to baby care, he's going to make one hell of a dad.

As these summer days fly by and my belly gets bigger and bigger, I get more and more excited about welcoming our baby girl into this world. I still have nerves and doubts of course. The whole transition brings out the most intense feelings of elation that can easily flip flop into fear, but most days, I feel at peace about it all and just can't wait to meet her. The more time goes by, the happier I am that this is happening when it is. The timing isn't perfect, but what ever is in life?

Its hard not to focus on the future with something so thrilling right around the corner. I keep having to remind myself that these next few months will pass quickly and to take a step back and enjoy where I'm at. Enjoy the peace and quiet while I can cause she will be here before we know it.

Its a messy one, but food isn't always poised and perfect. The mess is part of the beauty of it all. Stay cool out there and have a fabulous weekend!


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Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

At Eat Your Books we love great recipes – and the best come from chefs, authors and bloggers who have spent time developing and testing them.

We’ve helped you locate this recipe but for the full instructions you need to go to its original source.

If the recipe is available online - click the link “View complete recipe”– if not, you do need to own the cookbook or magazine.


My Homemade Food Recipes & Tips

There is more than one recipe for borscht on this website, if you are looking for some other recipe, try here: all borscht recipes.

Are you suffering from hot weather like me? When outside feels like in the oven there is no better food to eat than cold soup. Lithuanian borscht is a nice refreshing buttermilk based cold soup you can put together without any extra hassle and then enjoy it sitting on the patio.

The real trick to Lithuanian borscht is to find good kefir – it should be original kefir which hasn’t been flavored with any tastes, not salted and not sweetened. I used plain unsweetened kefir (can be replaced with buttermilk) from Lifeway and it worked out perfectly.

The rest of ingredients: vegetables (beets, cucumber and greens) and hard boiled eggs, are easy to get and not pricey at all. And btw, even though this soup is called a “borscht”, the only thing it has in common to other borschts, I guess, is the color.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb beets (2-3 beets, depends on size)
  • ½ english cucumber (or 2-3 baby cucumbers)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Small bunch of green onions (like 4-5 stems, not more)
  • Small bunch of fresh green dill
  • 1 quart of original kefir or buttermilk
  • About 1 quart of cold boiled water
  • 3 tablespoons of original sour cream
  • Salt to taste

How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients: boil beets skin on and cool them down till room temperature (this takes some time, you can boil them in advance, even a night before to speedup the process using canned beets is another alternative, but I never did it myself) also boil eggs till hard, cool then down too rinse greens and cucumber: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 1
  2. Once boiled beets are cooled down, skin them: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 2
  3. Take big cooking pot and grate there boiled beet into it using big slots of grater: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 3
  4. Peel and dice eggs: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 4a And add them to the cooking pot: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 4b
  5. If cucumber has hard bitter skin – remove skin, also if seeds appear to be hard – remove them too. Then dice cucumber and add to the cooking pot: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 5
  6. Clean green onion, chop it and add to the cooking pot: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 6
  7. Add finely chopped fresh dill: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 7
  8. Add 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream and season with salt: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 8
  9. Mix everything: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 9
  10. Add all buttermilk: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 10
  11. Add about the same amount of water (or more, to taste) and mix everything. Cover cooking pot with a lid and put it to the fridge or cool place for about an hour to let flavors meld: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 11
  12. Serve cold out of fridge as a soup course before main dish. Works perfect for hot summer days: Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht)

Svekolnik (Chilled Beet Borscht)

Serves: 6-8
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes + cooling time

Ingredients
Borscht:
6-8 medium beets, peeled and quartered
10 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of one large lemon

Mix-ins:
3 Persian or Kirby cucumbers, trimmed and chopped into ½” cubes
Hard boiled eggs, sliced lengthwise (1 egg per serving)
1 small bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped, stems discarded
3-4 scallions, sliced thinly, green and white parts
6 large radishes, trimmed and chopped into ½” cubes
Lemon wedges (served on the side)
Sour cream

Preparation
1. Place the beets and water in a large stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until beets are easily pierced with a fork.

2. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the beets, reserving the beet stock, and grate on the large side of a box grater. Return the grated beets to the beet stock.

3. Season with sugar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Mix well and taste, adjusting for seasoning.

4. Move to the fridge to chill for a minimum of 8 hours, and ideally overnight.

5. To serve: ladle chilled soup into bowls (50% beet stock, 50% grated beets). Top each bowl with a spoonful of cucumbers, scallions, radishes, 2 hard boiled egg halves and a healthy pinch of chopped fresh dill. Add a dollop of sour cream and a final squeeze of lemon.


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Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

At Eat Your Books we love great recipes – and the best come from chefs, authors and bloggers who have spent time developing and testing them.

We’ve helped you locate this recipe but for the full instructions you need to go to its original source.

If the recipe is available online - click the link “View complete recipe”– if not, you do need to own the cookbook or magazine.


Chilled Borscht

To make stock: Peel sweet potato, beets, carrots, onion and garlic cloves, reserving skins in a large saucepan. (If using golden beets, immediately submerge them in a bowl of water to prevent browning.) Add the 5 cups water to the pan with the skins, along with 2 whole garlic cloves, the turmeric, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

While stock is cooking, prepare vegetables. Chop sweet potato, beets, carrots and onion. (Again, submerge golden beets in a bowl of water, if using.) Mince the remaining 3 garlic cloves.

In a large skillet, cook the onion in hot oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add cabbage cook 3 minutes more. Add minced garlic cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat set aside.

Remove stock from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Return 3 cups of the stock to the saucepan (reserve remaining stock). Add sweet potato, carrots and drained beets to stock in pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat let cool 15 minutes.

Transfer cabbage and onion mixture to a blender or food processor add vegetable mixture. Cover blend or process until very smooth, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons lemon juice blend for another 30 seconds. Add some reserved stock to reach desired consistency. To make soup extra smooth, pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl, gently pressing soup through with a silicone spatula until all liquid is removed. Chill until very cold (or, if desired, serve hot).

Before serving, prepare garnish: In a small bowl, stir together yogurt with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the remaining lemon juice. Serve soup in small bowls or large shot glasses, garnished with yogurt mixture and tarragon.


Vibrant Beet Borscht

  • Yield: 2-4 servings (depending on toppings)
  • You're needed for: 5 minutes
  • Until it's done: 04h 00min
  • Shalva Gale

A vibrant summery beet soup served chilled

Ingredients:

  • vegetable broth - 3 cups
  • beets - 8-10 small
  • lemon (with peel) - 1/4 whole
  • red wine vinegar - 1 Tbsp.
  • salt - 1/2 tsp.
  • pepper - to taste
  • TOPPINGS
  • dill (fresh) - 2 Tbsp.
  • potatoes (cooked) - 1 cup cubed
  • cucumber - 1/2 cup cubed
  • beets - 1/2 cup cubed
  • sour cream - to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients into your blender container
  2. Ramp from variable speed 1 to 10
  3. Blend on high for 60 seconds
  4. Pour into fridge-safe container
  5. Add chopped dill
  6. Cover (this stuff stains)!
  7. Cool in fridge for 4 hours before serving (if possible)
  1. Add any of the optional toppings before serving
  2. Snap a pic and tag #lifeisNOYOKE
  3. Na zdorovie!

Useful tips for Vibrant Beet Borscht

You can certainly roast your own beets. We took the easy route and purchased a pack of beets that are steamed and peeled already.

If you’re steaming your own, two should be plenty.

About LIFE IS NOYOKE

Hi, we’re Shalva and Lenny Gale, and we are the mom & pop Vitamix shop. People use our site to figure out which Vitamix to buy, plan a purchase around upcoming Vitamix deals, and learn how to use their machine. Here are 16 reasons to buy your Vitamix through us.


Carrot Beet Borscht

Chilled soups are chic and perfect for starting what is normally a heavy holiday meal. This soup can stand in for a salad or be a part of your Rosh Hashanah Menu.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, white part only, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 6 cups carrot juice, store-bought or homemade
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 roasted beets, peeled and small diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Garnish: Apple Chutney

Preparation

1. Heat a small saucepan, lightly coated with evoo, over low heat. Sweat leeks and carrots until very soft and very fragrant, about 20 minutes. Add carrot juice, lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Chill. Before serving: place a few pieces of roasted beets into glasses or attractive bowls and spoon chilled borscht over beets. Garnish with Apple Chutney.


Amy's Cooking Adventures

Amy, thanks so much for your fabulous recipe! I'm not a fan of red beets, but I'd definitely try this recipe with golden beets! I love that you preferred it hot. And said so. Yay for honesty! P

Yeah. I wasn't a fan of the book either but I also made an amazing Borshch using her father's recipe from the book. It made buying the book worth the money just for that recipe.

Love your honest review! The color on this soup is gorgeous!

I admire you for being able to give up on a book. I always force myself to hang in there till the end and usually hate myself for it! This look looks lovely though! - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck - Colleen

I'm with Karen, I appreciate your honest review. I'm not a big fan of red beets, but it's certainly a pretty colored soup. I may try the golden beets that Paula mentioned, and see what the flavor difference is.

I quit a few chapters in, too, and decided to sit this one out - but I'll be peeking into the round up for sure! Your borscht recipe sounds delicious!

I'm not a huge chilled soup fan so I like your idea of heated borscht. I hear you about the book. I tried to keep a very open mind. I did enjoy the last half MUCH more than the first. I think if my sister hadn't have told me she loved it, I would have put it up long ago. I just kept waiting to find the love. didn't happen.

Not a fan of the book either, but it was passable. But this soup looks amazing!

I've never been able to get past the dirt taste of beets. I'm 25% Polish and I'm probably an embarrassment to the ancestors but I just can't do it.

I've made both hot and cold borscht, and enjoy them both, but the chilled version especially in Summer. Not my favorite book either, though quite interesting in a historical sense.

I am with you on chilled soups: even gazpacho makes me dream of hot tomato soup, maybe because here it is never warm enough to make chilled soups an imperative. I am glad the soup made up for the unpalatable book. Thank you for contributing to this edition of Cook the Books :)

I had similar feelings about the first half of the book but found the second half worked better for me. I do like cold soups and cold borscht but I have to be in the right mood. Glad you enjoyed it warm/hot at least. It looks very tasty. -)

Well I loved the book. seems I am the only one lol. Totally great about your honest review. I liked cold soups in the summer. but a borscht? Would have to try it to see, hot it looks amazing.