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Russian Borscht

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Photo Modified: Flickr/liz west

Borscht, or some variation of it, has been a mainstay of peasant food all over Eastern Europe and Russia. In the winter, the soup is served hot and may contain beets, carrots, and potatoes or other root vegetables; in the summer, the same soup (usually called chlodnik*) may be served icy cold and mixed with cream, yogurt, or buttermilk and garnished with sliced radishes, beet greens, cucumbers, lemon slices, and hard-boiled eggs.

Serve this soup hot or cold. Purée it or leave the vegetables whole.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 pounds beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt, for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped dill, for garnish

Tools:

  • Handheld immersion blender

Directions

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onion for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Place the onion, beets, potato, carrot, and water in a 7-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork.

Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the vegetables until smooth. Add salt to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream and fresh dill.