A cold beet & cucumber borscht that is light yet hearty–perfect for an early fall evening or lunch!

A cold beet & cucumber borscht that is light yet hearty--perfect for an early fall evening or lunch!

Everyone knows that in September, our tastebuds scream “pumpkin!” while our bodies shout “it’s still hot out!” It’s a transitional period where it’s too hot to turn off the AC at night, but still people begin to plan their apple picking trips. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I’m so excited about it.

So to combat this still-warm weather, I felt a cold dinner was in order. A kind of dinner that requires minimal effort but produces tons of flavor.

A cold beet & cucumber borscht that is light yet hearty--perfect for an early fall evening or lunch!

Borscht is one of those dishes that many have heard of, but few have tried. The name is stark and curious, and the idea of a beet soup is, well, interesting.

But there’s a reason the Ukrainians love it so much. It’s because it’s freaking delicious.

This soup, I’m proud to say, comes from the amazing mind of my sister, Rebe (She’s asked me to give the pronunciation because “ppl probs don’t know.” It’s Ree-Bee). She is one of those people that can look at a fridge full of nothing and an hour later have a restaurant-quality dinner on the table. It’s like someone put a flavor thesaurus inside her brain- she always knows what to pair with what, and makes meals that are both healthy and hearty at the same time.

A cold beet & cucumber borscht that is light yet hearty--perfect for an early fall evening or lunch!

She first made this borscht three summers ago, and we ate it three nights in a row on our deck. It was nutritious, refreshing, and filling bite after bite. I thought about it for weeks after she made it.

So what makes this borscht recipe different from others? Well to start, she uses rye bread as a main ingredient. It gives the soup a thicker texture and a beautiful nutty flavor.

The cucumber imparts a quintessential summariness. It tastes like you’re eating something straight from the garden.

And unlike other borscht recipes, which have diced beets in a thinner broth, she blends everything together into a thick and beautiful magenta soup.

A cold beet & cucumber borscht that is light yet hearty--perfect for an early fall evening or lunch!

With beet season coming up, you can bet that this soup will taste it’s best well into the next few months. My advice? Pick them up from your local farmer’s market for the best in flavor & quality.

Jeeze, it’s almost too pretty to eat.

But just almost.

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RECIPE

Borscht

Ingredients

  • 4 medium beets (about 2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 1/2” cubes
  • 1 cup rye bread, cubed with crusts removed
  • 1 cup sour cream, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup English cucumber, chopped with seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped, plus extra for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the chopped beets in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook uncovered until the beets are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the beets from the bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
  2. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the beet cooking water and soak the bread in the liquid for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in the soaked bread and remaining beet juice. Add the beets, cucumber, scallions, and dill, and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (You can use a regular blender or Vitamix, but don’t process the soup for too long; a little texture is nice.) Taste and season with more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.
  4. Cover the soup with saran wrap and allow to to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Serve cold with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill.

by


Recipe inspired by Ina Garten

33 comments

Reply

Sarah, I have never tried borscht, but this just sounds so good I think I will give it a go! I love how Rebe uses the rye bread to give it a nutty flavor and make it a bit thicker. Good thinking! Sounds yummy and looks beautiful!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

She’s a genius, that one. Thank you Mary Ann!

Reply

I love borscht and this one is particularly gorgeous! And I love that we both have bright pink recipes today! :-). Also, can Rebe come to my house and cook? I have a lot of weird miscellaneous ingredients in my fridge that need a make-over!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yes, pink twinning! And yes. You will be amazed.

Reply

The COLOR is stunning!!! You know how I feel about purple foods 😉 this is a soup that will sure warm anyone right up!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Ain’t it the truth. Thank you Julie!

Reply

Wow, look at that color. This borscht is gorgeous!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

The color is my fave part too 🙂

Reply

I’ve never had Borscht!!! Can’t really believe it. But the color is so gorgeous!! And I’m really into beets right now 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Oooh girl I’m going to have to make this for you then 🙂

Reply

I couldn’t get the Mr. to eat Borscht for the longest time because the color freaked him out but when he finally tried it, of course he was speechless. As for me, if you cut me open I’d probably bleed beets. SO GOOD!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Bleeding beets, I love it! Glad the hubs came around, too 🙂

Reply

The color of this borscht is absolutely beautiful! I’ve never made it before, but I’ve always wanted to try it. I’m definitely going to have to now!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Let me know what you think!

Reply

I love beets; why have I never made borscht? Thanks for the push 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

If you love beets you’re going to love it 🙂 XO

Reply

I’ve never had borscht, but if it tastes as amazing as it looks, then I’d be in soup heaven!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

OMG soup heaven. I can imagine it now. What a wonderful place.

Reply

I have never had borscht before but now I simply must!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

You must you must!

Reply

I would eat this soup for the color alone! Holy amazingness.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Right? I practically want to wear it.

Reply

WOW! Just LOOK at that colour! This looks like something you would be served at a fancy pants restaurant. Amazing Sarah!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hahaha, thank you Jessica. I’ll tell Rebe 🙂

Reply

This borscht looks amazing! The color is lovely 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

It’s the best part. Makes me want to dive right in 🙂

Reply

Sarah this is just stunning! I can’t get over the color!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you mama! Glad you enjoy it 🙂

Reply

Like everyone else, I am just blown away by that colour! I love borscht and yours sounds perfect 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you Jennifer! The rye really brings it to the next level. 🙂

Reply

I love this spin on classic borscht! The color is so beautiful too! 😀

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you Sarah! The rye really makes it pop 🙂

Reply

Orson thanks you.

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