Beets are one of the most densely nutrient packed vegetables available. This recipe for chilled beet borscht earns extra points for including eggs and cream. My late grandmother whose family was from Eastern Europe always had some of this in her refrigerator. I am sure she offered this to me all the time but I can’t remember ever trying it. Boy was I wrong – this soup is amazing. I think I will now always keep it on hand – so easy to make and absolutely delicious! This is her recipe as dictated to my Aunt. Following that I am going to include more detailed instructions and measurements based on my experience making it.
First a rundown of the nutritional benefits of beets:
- Contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorous
- Considered a fiber food and contain vitamins A (I am assuming beta carotene) and C as well as niacin
- Contain folic acid which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells – very important for pregnant women!
- Guard against cancer due to the pigment that gives beets their red color, betacyanin– particularly colon cancer
- Available most of the year!
- Cleanse the blood, the colon and strengthen the gall bladder and liver
Beet Borscht (as dictated to my aunt from my grandmother)
Scrub and boil 4-5 small beets (20-30 minutes). Wash and select stems and greens, steam and dice. Save this liquid and cool with ice cubes. Peel and dice the beets and put with the greens.
Add sour cream to taste (1 pint), 2-3 hard boiled eggs. Mash one yolk into the soup. Add juice of 1+ lemon, salt, dill, chives. Put one hot boiled red potato in the middle.
Don’t you just love how simple recipes used to be and how little technique information they included? I believe this is probably because more people actually knew how to cook way back when.
Here is the recipe with my more specific directions:
- 4-5 small beets
- Beet green leaves, steamed and chopped
- 1 pint sour cream or creme fraiche
- 3 hard boiled eggs, one yolk reserved, the rest chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (dill, chives, parsley)
- 1 red potato, boiled
Scrub and boil the beets until they are fork tender, about 20-30 min.
Reserve the cooking liquid and cool down in an ice bath.
Peel the beets and dice them. Add them to the steamed, chopped beet green leaves. Mash in one of the hard-boiled egg yolks to the cooled cooking liquid to thicken and then stir in the sour cream. Stir in the lemon juice and salt to taste. Add the beets and greens and chopped eggs and top with the fresh herbs. Place the boiled red potato in the center and serve.
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