I’m so delinquent! Apologies for the absence, friends. Things happened. Like Flora-Bama happened. You understand.
If this blog has done anything, it’s rekindle my obsession with my family’s recipes. In particular, my grandmother’s recipes. She made the most amazing Polish and Lithuanian food, and I wish I had taken more of an interest in cooking when she was still around to learn her secrets! One of my personal favorites was her Lithuanian borscht – cold beet soup.
I recreate my grandmother’s borscht often, especially in the summer. It’s a beautiful, cold soup that’s refreshing and light during the warmer months. Though it requires very few ingredients, the sweet and crunchy result is oh-so-satisfying and extremely addicting. You can serve it as an appetizer (everyone will ooh and aah at the pretty pink color!) or as a filling main course alongside boiled potatoes.
My grandmother’s crowd-favorite recipes (pierogi, haluski, potato pancakes, golabki) have been passed around to different family members, and I’m pretty sure everyone puts their own spin on whatever cryptic instructions the original recipe dictates. So you want to make borscht, eh? It requires beets. How many? I don’t know. Just beets. Probably diced.
You’ll also need cucumber, dill, scallions, buttermilk, chicken stock, and greek yogurt. If you’re in a hurry, you can use jarred beets and the liquid they’re packed in, too. Just cut out the sugar! My grandmother used jarred beets as opposed to fresh, but I prefer to do things in the most difficult way possible.
Top with a big ol’ dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt and some chopped fresh dill. Pro tip: taste a bite of your cucumber before you dice it all up, combine it with all of the other ingredients, taste it 4 hours later only to find out you had a bitter cucumber, and then cry salty tears into your soup as you painstakingly strain out all of the cucumber bits.
- 2 pounds of fresh beets (remove the tops and saute them later!)
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups diced cucumber, seeded
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1 bunch fresh dill, bundled or wrapped in cheese cloth for easy removal
- Peel and boil the beets in a large pot of salted water until you can pierce them easily with a fork (30-45 minutes depending on the size of the beets)
- Remove the beets from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid.
- Cool and dice your beets.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups of the beet cooking liquid with the chicken stock, buttermilk, greek yogurt, sugar, and vinegar in a large bowl.
- Salt and pepper the mixture to taste.
- Mix in the beets, cucumber, scallions and dill.
- Cover and chill for at least 3-4 hours.
- Remove the dill and serve cold.