Monday, July 19, 2010

Mangé à Notre Maison: Cold Summer Borscht

After my sister, Borscht is my favorite thing that came out of my parents' 3 week long stay in Russia. And while I love, love, LOVE the hardy, beefy version that was served to them by their host, I really only ever want to eat that when it's cold and snowy. I suppose that's why the recipe comes form Siberia.

But it's not cold and snowy at the moment, it's 90º and sunny. So here's my light (and vegetarian) summer version of their Birobidzhan Borscht.

Summer Borscht

yield: 6 bowls 

1 onion, thinly sliced
1 T vegetable oil
4 c vegetable stock
2 c water
1 3/4 lb raw beets, peeled, halved, then sliced into thin half moons
1 garlic clove, mashed with a pinch of salt
2 T tomato paste
2 t apple cider vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium/low heat and add in the onions. Stir the onions occasionally until they have softened and are translucent (no browning).
  2. Add the stock, water, beets, garlic clove and tomato paste to the pot and stir to incorporate the garlic and tomato paste.
  3. Simmer the soup until the beets are tender* but not falling apart, 30-45 minutes.
  4. Add in the cider vinegar then taste and season as needed with salt and black pepper.
  5. Eat the soup warm or chilled overnight with a dollop of sour cream (or crème fraîche, if you happen to live in France), chopped chives and more fresh black pepper.

* If you would like this soup to be even more quick cooking, you could  grate the beets.


  1. Ah what a strange and unusual three weeks that was in oh so very many ways. Love you

  2. The worst 3 weeks of my life...oh dear. Well, except for the times that you and Mike saved me, which was much appreciated!