I know! I know! Enough with the blackberry recipes. This is the last one, since we are now back in NYC. In addition to eating a lot of blackberries while on Gabriola, we ate a good amount of locally grown vegetables. There are quite a few small farms on the island that sell at the Saturday greenmarket or directly from their farm stands. It is very expensive to buy the food that is brought onto the island by ferry, but the locally grown vegetables are both delicious and wonderfully affordable. My favourite is the Good Earth Farm. My mother and I like to go to the farm so that we can visit their beautiful flower garden while buying vegetables.
This blackberry beet borscht was inspired by this excellent Beet and Cherry Soup recipe, which I will probably make again with frozen cherries at Christmas time. Blackberry beet borscht is much lighter than the Hot Beet and Cabbage Borscht that I make in the winter, so it does not feel weird to eat a bowl of it for a summer lunch. I also occasionally make a very good Cold Raspberry Beet Borscht, but that recipe is a bit complicated and only worth making for a special lunch or fancy tea. This is a humble, healthful and satisfying soup. BLACKBERRY BEET BORSCHT
- a splash of olive oil or a pat of butter
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin half circles
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 4 beets, grated
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups good homemade chicken broth or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 sprigs of fresh dill
- 3 cups fresh blackberries
- salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste
- plain whole milk yogurt or sour cream to serve (optional)
- Heat the oil or butter of medium high heat in a large heavy bottomed soup pot. Add the onions and saute until they begin to turn translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Add the celery and carrots and saute until they just begin to soften (about 3 minutes).
- Add the grated beets, stock, bay leaf, cinnamon and dill and simmer until the beets are soft (about 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off. Remove and discard the sprigs of dill and add the blackberries. Taste and season as needed with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Serve hot, room temperature or cold with a dollop of whole milk yogurt or sour cream.
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