Friday, 21 December 2012


“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” - Anton Chekhov

Well I am happy to report the world did not end on 21/12/12 and here is a perfect soup for a summery meal, as it will get rather warm here in Melbourne at the weekend. It is a traditional Ukrainian recipe and it is safely vegetarian, though not vegan! Vegans can omit the sour cream. On the other hand, committed omnivores can substitute chicken or beef stock for the water, which will add depth and extra flavour to the soup.
Borscht for Summer

For stock
2 litres water
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprigs parsley
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

For soup

4 large beetroots
1 large turnip
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
1 and 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup light sour cream


Wash all the vegetables well. Place water, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, salt and pepper in a large pan, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, to make a stock. While the stock simmers, peel the beetroots and turnip, adding all the peel to the pan. Chop the beetroots and turnip into small pieces.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beetroot, turnip and cabbage. Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables. Add the stock to the beetroot mixture. Simmer, uncovered, until root vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Blend vegetable to a purée and heat right through.

Remove from heat. Stir in dill and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature. Cover; refrigerate until cold. Whisk in sour cream just before serving.

Traditionally, warm boiled potatoes are eaten as an accompaniment to the borscht. They are served on a separate plate, sprinkled with chopped chives. Some people instead of mixing the sour cream into the soup, serve it in a bowl so that people can add it to both the soup and the potatoes, as they like.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.


  1. love the colors! tempting shot, too! haven't tried making vegetable stock before...will try your recipe -> bookmarked!

    thank you for sharing and linking over at Food Friday, Nick
    Happy Holidays!

  2. Perfect choice! When I was editing an international cook book 18 years ago, my personal contribution was borscht :)

    I agree with you that the thoughtful cook keeps the sour cream and boiled potato in two separate pots, so that people can add according to their own taste.