I make this soup every five years or so. Every time I make it, I am hit with a little bit of anxiety about half way through. I have the following little conversation with myself …
Me: Is this really going to taste good?
Me: I remember it tasting good last time.
Me: But this flavour combination is a little weird.
Me: Shut up and keep making the soup.
…And then the soup is finished and it tastes REALLY good. I made this for my friend Katherine’s wedding shower. I had planned to make it for my own wedding, but then I thought better of combining beet soup with my white antique wedding sari. This soup is really refreshing and beautiful…and messy…and worth it.
Serve this soup with Smoked Salmon Hash with Fresh Herbs for a perfect lunch or summer supper. If you want to get really fancy you can also make a quiche with the beet greens and bit of goat cheese! It would also be good with open faced sandwiches made with whatever you have kicking around in your fridge. In the spring time it would be good with Nettle Gnudi and Arugula and Radish Salad with Walnut Dressing.
I made it most recently, for an event called Dear Valentine hosted by The Muses Escape, where the amazing photographer Rose Callahan took far better photographs of this dish than I have ever managed to…with the help of the alluring Eden who you can see more of on instagam @edensheaven.
COLD, RASPBERRY AND BEET BORSCHT
adapted from The New Vegetarian Epicure
- 2 pounds of beets
- 1 pint of raspberries
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- about 1/2 cup lemon juice
- about 2 Tablespoons balsamic or raspberry vinegar
- about 2 Tablespoons sugar
- sour cream or yogurt (optional)
- fresh chives (optional)
- fresh dill (optional)
- Chop the greens off of the beets and reserve them for another use. Scrub the beets clean and place them in a large pot with enough salted water to just cover them. Simmer the beets, partially covered, until they are very tender (30-45 minutes depending on how big they are).
- When the beets are tender remove them and let them cool a bit before cutting them into eighths. Reserve the cooking liquid.
- Combine the raspberries, red onion, chopped beet and 2 cups of cooking liquid in a blender (or large bowl if you use a submersion blender). Blend until very smooth.
- Strain the soup through a sieve to remove the seeds. You can also do this with an applesauce ricer if you have one. This process can yield very different results, depending on the size of the mesh on your sieve or ricer. My sieve is so fine that it takes forever to strain this soup and then it turns out thinner than I would like. My ricer ,on the other hand, is quick but yields a soup that it too thick (more like applesauce). If your soon is too thin, just toss a few more scoops of the pulp back in…a few seeds never killed anyone. If it’s too thick, throw a bit more of the cooking liquid into it.
- Once you have a soup that is the consistency that you like, season it with lemon juice, vinegar, salt and sugar. Start with the amounts listed here and then taste it and adjust it until it is a sweet, tart and savory.
- Chill and serve garnished with sour cream, dill and chives.
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