cool summer borscht

July 31, 2013 § 57 Comments

We have a serious affection for beets around here.  I have been baking beets every week for the past several, therefore it only seemed natural to seek out a beet soup recipe.  I prefer my soups warm  with the exception of gazpacho, which to me is much like salsa.  I can eat bowls and bowls of gazpacho!  Knowing we love beet salad with toasted walnuts and goat cheese I had a feeling we would also enjoy a cool borscht. I read a few recipes, gathered a few ideas and came up with my own palate pleasing soup.  Bringing in the beet salad idea we used toasted walnuts and goat cheese crumbles to top it off.  A soup and salad in one bowl!

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I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 5 medium fresh beets
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 16 ounces greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 large cucumber, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, dry toasted
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra for serving

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Place the beets in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook uncovered until the beets are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the beets to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and also set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the beet cooking liquid, the vegetable stock, yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Peel the cooled beets with a small paring knife or rub the skins off with your hands. Dice the beets into small/medium bite size pieces. Add the beets, cucumber, scallions, and dill to the soup.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Prior to serving, place the walnut bits in a dry, non stick skillet over medium heat and cook until toasted and brown, giving the skillet a shake every now and them.

Season soup with salt and pepper, serve cool with a sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese, toasted walnuts and an extra sprig of fresh dill.

oven roasted beets

April 11, 2013 § 10 Comments

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I have a delicious beet recipe for you today.  When I first started cooking beets I thought you had to peel, slice, then boil them in a covered pot until tender. Very time consuming and not exactly easy, especially peeling them.  Then I learned the “real” method for cooking beets.  Poke a few times with a fork, wrap in foil and roast.  When using this method, the flavor is held in the beet and not dissolved in the boiling water.  The skins peel easily after roasting.  It is wonderful how the whole plant, root and all is edible.  We enjoy adding the greens to a salad, or steam/sauté them as you would a bunch of chard.  I have had guests around my table who never liked beets until trying them roasted.  For a simple way to eat beets you may bake, peel, slice, then drizzle olive oil over them and  a little sprinkling of sea salt.  This is wonderful in a salad or served as a warm side dish.  Or, consider adding a little goat cheese and nuts.  Very delicious.

What you will need:

  • 3 medium-large size beets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts or pecans-toasted
  • 2-3 ounces chavrie goat cheese
  • salt
  • foil

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Preheat oven to 450°.  Using a fork, poke several holes in each beet and wrap with foil.  Place in oven on a baking tray.  Set timer and bake for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, toast your nuts of choice by placing in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat.  Occasionally move the nuts around by shaking the skillet and/or using a spatula until toasted, approximately 10 minutes.

When beets are ready, use a fork to test their tenderness,  Make sure the fork pierces the beet easily.  Unwrap them and allow them to cool just enough to handle.  Using a paring knife, peel each beet.  Slice them in your desired shape and place in a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle a little salt, top with chavrie and toasted nuts.

Serves 4, as a side dish.

buon appetite.

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