Borsht is a firm Ashkenazi favourite – and like chicken soup, every family has its own version. Use fresh beetroots for the sweetest results, however vacuum packed non-vinegar pre-packed beetroots will also do. Beetroot is considered a ‘super food’. It contains betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind, and trytophan, which is also found in chocolate and contributes to a sense of well being. So enjoy the special qualities of this burgundy coloured cold soup topped with some sour cream.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6 people
500g raw beetroot
Peeled 200g red cabbage
Finely shredded 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 potatoes
Peeled and roughly chopped 1 red onion
Peeled and roughly chopped 2 cloves garlic
Peeled and finely chopped 6 salad tomatoes
Peeled and de seeded 1 litre vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons brown sugar salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
Garnish: 250ml sour cream sprigs of fresh dill
1. Grate the beetroot in a food processor. Be careful as the juices do stain!
2. Heat a large pan with olive oil and saute the beetroot, cabbage, onions, and garlic for about 10 minutes to soften.
3. Add the potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, stock and lemon juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are all soft.
4. Puree in a liquidiser so that is nice and smooth.
5. Add the brown sugar and check seasoning.
6. Leave to cool for a minimum of 4 hours or refrigerate over night.
To serve the stylish way: Ladle the soup into deep bowls and garnish with a generous dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill.
NEXT WEEK: Hazelnut and chocolate bread