In my family Borscht is made a couple of ways. It’s either blended and served cold with a dollop of sour cream and looks like an alarming bowl of magenta ink certain to stain lips and teeth bright pink, or it is served as a beef shank-beet stew that is chunky and hearty – also with a big ol’ dollop of sour cream.
Here’s my easy version of the blended borscht (and I serve it hot), but with both red and golden beets cooked separately. Ladle the two soups into one bowl and give it a swirl with a knife tip.
The micro greens on top are called ‘bull’s blood’. But not to worry, they are really just beet shoots.
I made this particular soup (pictured above) meatless and dairy free for my vegan customers, but it can certainly be made with chicken or beef stock and topped with crème fraîche or sour cream. Just be careful about not blending the sour cream in unless you don’t mind eating a soup the color of pepto bismal.
These beets were from Pie Ranch and were fresh and sweet so I didn’t add too much spice wise: cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and bay leaf plus a little sherry vinegar to add a touch of acidity to balance the sweetness.
- 5 medium red beets, peeled and quartered
- 5 medium golden beets, pleeled and quartered
- 6 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, shaved thinly on a mandolin
- 6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 1 pinch cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 orange zested
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Bull's blood for garnish & sour cream or crème fraîche
In two separate medium pots over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to each and sweat onions & celery (divided) until translucent. Add golden and red beets to separate pots and cover just with enough chicken stock. If too much liquid is added the broth will not be flavorful.
Divide spices & shaved garlic between soups and bring each soup to a simmer and cook until beets are soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to both and black pepper only to the red soup.
Taste soups, if they are super sweet add a splash of sherry vinegar.
Blend each soup separately – again, using just enough of the liquid to cover so the purée is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without dripping off fast. (You can always add more liquid, but you can't take it away.)
Taste soups and adjust seasoning. Ladle yellow soup into bowl or cup and then add a ladle of red beet soup in the middle. Using the tip of a knife swirl soups together.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, freshly cracked black pepper, and bull's blood or baby beet greens.
Note to Chef: try to make sure that both soups have the same consistency or the double trouble effect won't work too well!