Chilled Summer Borscht

Summer has arrived, and I’m getting inspired again in the kitchen, as you can see from my recent blog posts. This weeks vegetable box inspired this recipe. Beets with the loveliest greens atop them were the centerpiece of box. Pickling was out of the question and I got to thinking of  the refreshing chilled soups you find particularly in Eastern Europe ( Hungary and Russia). I remembered I loved the beautiful beet based winter borscht with its beautiful ruby-red sheen. So what if  I made a more tourmaline hued  like borscht  with a cream base ,seasoned with fresh crisp apples, dill, and cucumber? A beautiful starter , with crisp bright flavors perfect for summer brunch ?

I played around and this is what I got. You will find it light yet filling. The perfect chilled soup for a lovely summer day. As Borscht is really nothing but a seasonal soup ,play around with your produce and combos.  I used chicken stock as a base, however vegetable stock can be used as well.

Chilled Summer Borscht
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A chilled soup.
  • 2 apples peeled , cored and diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 beets with leaves intact
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
  • fresh dill weed and thinly sliced cucumber for garnish.
  1. In a heavy bottomed stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Add diced apples, carrots, and red onion.
  3. Saute on medium high for about 10 minutes until the vegetables become soft and onions translucent.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and dill.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes.
  6. Saute for 5 for minutes.
  7. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Take an immersion blender and puree the soup mixture.
  9. Add the sugar and stir in. Continue to let the soup simmer.
  10. Cut off the greens of the beets and chop up. Add to simmering soup mixture.
  11. With a vegetable peeler , skin the beets and chop into small pieces.
  12. In a small fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  13. Add the chopped beets and saute for about 10 minutes on medium high, until they are softened.
  14. Remove from heat and add the beets to the soup mixture.
  15. Quickly blend the beets into the soup with the immersion blender.
  16. Turn off the soup. You don't want to overcook the beets once added to the soup as the color will darken.
  17. Let the coup cool down.
  18. Add the sour cream and Sherry Vinegar to the soup. Blend with immersion blender.
  19. Strain soup through a fine mesh wire strainer. There will be pulp. Push out the liquid from the pulp. You want a fine strained liquid, without the thick pulp.
  20. Chill the soup overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  21. Serve cold with chopped fresh dill garnish and thinly sliced cucumber.
  22. *Soup may separate after a few hours while chilling. Just whip up with blender again before serving.
Equipment A fine mesh wire strainer. Immersion Blender You can make this the day ahead. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. Serve in small cordial or shooter glasses or bowls. Servings may vary depending on how served.

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