Perfect Cold Borscht for Hot Weather

This is the time of year when cold soups come into their own, and yes, it's still hot here.  I was very happy with the way this version of Borscht turned out.  I've tried others, good too.  There are probably as many variations of this soup as there are nostalgic emigres around.

On a related, sort of, subject?  We must have been in a Russian mood, as I ordered a jar of Shilajit, which if you've never heard of, is a supplement, a mineral rich tar found in high mountain ranges, like the Himalayas, Altai and Caucasus.  You add a small amount - less than 1/8 teaspoon to some tea and voila, energy!  It just came in the mail from Siberia, so I'll let you know how it works.  My brother-in-law, who is sold on the stuff, told me about it.

So, here's a delicious soup to be made earlier in the day, chilled and, then when you don't want to heat up your kitchen, there you have it!

Cold Borscht
From Good.Food.Stories

Makes 4 servings

    * 2 medium beets
    * 2 potatoes
    * salt
    * juice of 1 lemon
    * sour cream, thick yogurt or kefir
    * 2 teas. horseradish or to taste

    * 1 cucumber, seeded and cubed
    * 1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, and or chive blossoms
    * 1/2 bunch dill, chopped
    * 1 hard-boiled egg, diced
    * 2 radishes, thinly sliced

Peel beets and potatoes and place, whole, into a medium saucepan. Fill with water just to cover the veg and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes (check beets and potatoes with a fork; you may need to extend the simmering time by a few minutes depending on the size of your veg). Remove the beets and potatoes and let cool for a few minutes, reserving the water.

Once the veg are cool enough to handle, grate the beets coarsely, either by hand or in a food processor, and dice the potatoes. When the water has cooled to room temperature, put the beets and potatoes back into the soup and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight (the longer the flavors can marry, the better).

When ready to serve, add salt and lemon juice to taste, drizzle with sour cream, and scatter your desired garnishes.  A number of years ago, I posted this Cold Beet Soup, garnished with garlic chives and their blossoms. A reprise in the same stunning color!

I served the Borscht with a loaf of freshly baked bread for a perfect simple meal!  I'll share this over at Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event and with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen's Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays. Be sure to visit for some good reading suggestions and excellent food.


Mae Travels said...

Your recipe is different from my mother's but I would really really LOVE a bowl of your borscht! Alas, my husband can't stand beets so I've never been in the habit of making this fabulous summer treat. I just read a book called Russian Cooking in Exile that had a few words on Borscht and other Russian soups. (blogged here:

Enjoy your wonderful soup! best... mae

Beth F said...

This looks a lot like the borscht one of my grandmothers used to make. It's soooooo good when the beets are garden-fresh.

jama said...

I've never made borscht and your recipe sounds good. I do like the idea of making ahead and eating it chilled on hot days. :)

Tina said...

I`m with Mae, I would love a bowl as I am a big fan of beets. My husband only likes them roasted so I eat them on my own in small quantities. All of the ingredients you mentioned sound so good.
It is still very hot here too. Seems they summer temps will never end.

Carole said...

I haven't had borscht in years. Tricky for a butterfingers like me - but great flavour. Cheers

judee said...

I've made borsht, but I've heard of putting horseradish in the borsht! I love horseradish so next time I 'll try your recipe. thank

Deb in Hawaii said...

Your soup looks perfectly delicious and great for our heat and humidity lately. I love a good borscht--thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It's funny how many women write something related to "my husband hates beets." I have the same situation, although he does eat borsht. Your recipe looks great - thanks for posting it!