If you’ve ever tried to get borscht (beet soup) outside of your kitchen, you know there is no borscht standard: there’s a Ukranian borscht, a Polish borscht, a Russian borscht, creamy borscht, borscht with chicken broth, borscht with no sugar, with dill, without, I could go on. This is all to say, when you order borscht at a restaurant or deli, you can’t be sure what you’re going get. Unless you’re a borscht aficionado, don’t let post-traumatic-borscht disorder stop you from trying this out.
This borscht takes the traditional versions, makes them vegetarian, and adapts them to a more modern American palate. We can also think about this as an American recipe in that it is quick, easy, and simple.
This is one of my favorite recipes. Whenever I’m sad, tired, sick, or lonely, I make borscht. It’s like vegetarian chicken soup for the soul. It’s warm, hearty, and sweet. Perfect for the cold, rainy days under which Chicago is currently suffering.
The next time the weather has got you down, let this soup warm you up. :)
My Best Borscht
- 5 cups medium fresh beets (about 2 lbs)
- kosher salt
- 3 1/2 cup beet stock
- 1/3 cup honey (or 1/2 cup sugar)
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped dill (frozen or fresh)–here’s how to freeze fresh herbs
- 20 oz greek yogurt (optional)
- Wash and peel beets; cut into fours. Place the beets in a large pot of boiling, salted water (remember that you’ll need 3 1/2 cups of this stock).
- While beets are cooking, combine remaining ingredients: honey, lemon juice, pepper, salt, dill, and–if desired–greek yogurt.
- When beets are tender (about 30 minutes) remove the beets to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool slightly.
- Measure out 3 1/2 cups beet stock and set aside (you’ll want the stock to cool slightly before adding to yogurt mixture or the yogurt will curdle).
- Using a microplane, grate beets and mix with yogurt mixture; add beet stock, mix well, serve and enjoy!
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