Thursday, August 26, 2010
I love cold soups, it's really hot outside, and I have several cans of beets. Time to make borscht.
There are several kinds of borscht, but beets come up in nearly all of them. There's some with cabbage, some with beef, some hot, some cold, etc.
After reading several versions online, in cookbooks, and the label on the Manischewitz jar, I decided to come up with something on my own. All the cans of vegetable broth in the store had way too much salt in them, and I was not about to boil anything for two hours when it's 100º outside, so it was time to improvise.
*1-1/2 lbs canned beets (about 3 cups)
2 Tb lemon juice
1/8 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp onion salt
1/2 C cranberry juice
1 C sour cream, plain yogurt, or creme fraiche
1. Drain the beets, reserving the liquid. To the liquid, add lemon juice and enough water to make 2 cups.
2. Cut the beets into small dice. This gets easier if you buy sliced beets to start with. Add to liquid. Stir in celery salt, onion salt, and cranberry juice. Chill for several hours.
3. Portion into bowls. Garnish each with 1/4 C sour cream.
This makes about four portions as a first-course soup. If you plan to have it as a main course for lunch, it will serve two or three. You can also garnish with any combination of the following: diced cucumber, onion, carrot, celery, or even something more exotic like fennel or leeks. If using vegetable broth instead of water, omit the celery and onion salts.
Difficulty rating π