Summer beet soup is a simplified version of borscht and is prepared in a fraction of the time. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley. This is a healthy and refreshing vegetarian soup, which is just as good served either hot or chilled.
Did you know?
Some cooks today discard the beet tops and use only the roots. In ancient times, however, only the tops were eaten as a vegetable; the roots were used as a medicine to treat painful disorders such as headaches and toothaches.
Summer Beet Soup - Chilled Borscht
- 1/4 medium white cabbage, cored and coarsely
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp. wine vinegar
- 5 cups vegetable stock or rassol
- 3 beets, cooked, peeled and grated
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- lemon juice, optional
- sour cream or yogurt to serve
- chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and carrot, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the cabbage, vegetable stock or rassol, bay leaf, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add vinegar and beets, simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Allow to cool and refrigerate until cold. If you prefer soup a little less sweet, add a few drops of lemon juice. Ladle into chilled soup bowls or glasses, top each with a spoonful of sour cream, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Rassol is a beet broth, which is used to impart a strong beet color and flavor. You are most likely to find it in kosher food stores. Or you can use vegetable stock.