August 05, 2011

Summer borscht

Borscht had been on my 'have to try ' recipe list for long. It comes in two variants - cold and hot. Summer borscht is akin to gazpacho or any other cold soup, a delicious variant in the latter pedigree, from parts of Central and Eastern Europe. 

Quoting from wikipedia , ''Borscht began its existence from trimmings of cellared vegetables consumed throughout the winter months. Most families had a container, usually a kettle or stove pot, kept outside to store those trimmings. Around the first spring thaw, that pot was placed on the fire and cooked into a soup-like meal. One of the primary vegetables of the Slavic diet consumed during the winter months was beets. Hence the recipe changed into what is traditionally known as a beet soup''

We try the cold version to fend of the heat today. So if u love yogurt and beets- look no further at all. And BTW i levitated towards the bright colors of this soup at first and now am totally hooked to the flavors too. The color pink reminds me of the dry colors we played with, during a festival called Holi in India. 

A good make ahead recipe which you can easily store in your refrigerator for 2-3 days. I feel it tastes better, sitting over a day definitely. 

(Recipe adapted from here )

2 Medium beetroots, skins removed
1 cup plain yogurt
8 ounces sour cream
2 english cucumbers, seeded  cubed
1 small shallot or 2 scallions, chopped
1 carrot, cubed 
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
11/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 bunch of stemmed dill, chopped fine( more for garnish)
Salt to taste

Take a deep pan with enough water to immerse the fresh peeled beets. Simmer over heat till they are tender when poked in the center. Remove the beets with a slotted spoon and place them onto your cutting borad. Reserve the red beet water to be be used later. Let everything cool and cube the beets once they can be handled.

Take a seperate deep bowl, whisk in yogurt sour cream sugar salt vinegar and lemon juice. Add in the cubed veges and herbs- beets, carrots, shallots, cucumber, dill. Mix in as much cooled beet water as required, to lighten the consistency of the yogurt vegetable mixture to that of a soup. Stir well and refrigerate for 5hours or overnight.

Serve cold with more  dill and sour cream to garnish. 

Very healthy, very good.


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