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Cold Ukrainian Beet Borscht*

Serves 6

6 to 7 large beets
1/2 C red wine
2 tsp butter or olive oil
2 red onions, diced (about 3 C)
1 to 1-1/2 C defatted chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
3 to 4 C buttermilk
1 to 2 I fruit vinegar or lemon juice, optional
Pinch of sugar, optional
1-1/2 C diced, peeled, and seeded cucumbers
1/2 C minced green onions
6 small boiled potatoes, diced coarsely

Wash the beets. Peel one and grate it into a bowl. Cover with a little red wine. Cover the other beets with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until beets are tender. Refresh in cold water and peel while still warm. Cut one cooked beet into fine julienne strips and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the onions and cook until tender and translucent. Add just enough chicken stock to cover. Bring to a boil. Slice the remaining cooked beets. Purée beet slices, cooked onions, stock, and grated beet and red wine in a blender. Transfer to a bowl. Add buttermilk. Season with pepper.

Adjust seasoning-you may need a few tablespoons of fruit vinegar or lemon juice and a little sugar. The balance of sweet and sour is very personal. Add the julienne of beet and chill the soup.

To serve, ladle soup into 6 large bowls. Garnish with cucumbers, green onions, and potatoes.


  • Include a dollop of nonfat yogurt with the garnish.
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