How to Make Cold Borscht (Beet Soup)
It is important to eat soup all year round, but on hot summer days, the last thing you want to do is eat a bowl of hot soup. That is why there are cold soups. These can be eaten cold. One of them is, of course, cold borscht.
What is Borscht?
Borscht is a soup that is made from beets and there are two types of it that people make and eat: hot borscht and cold borscht, which is known as holodnik. Each one uses different ingredients, but beets are present in both, though different ones are used. The hot version is made from regular, loose beets, but the cold version is usually made from bunch beets (those that have leafy stems on them). The leaves are not discarded but are actually used in the soup. That is one thing that sets the cold apart from the hot one.
Borscht is popular in Eastern European countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Poland. Each country has its variation of this delicious soup. But even within the same country people make their own versions of this soup as people's tastes and preferences vary.
Hot borscht is popular during the cold months, especially in the winter, while the cold borscht (holodnik) is popular during the warm or hot days, especially in the summer.
I love both of these soups. It is hard to pick which of the two is my favorite though because even though they both use beets they are quite different taste-wise.
Making the cold borscht from the bunch beets (with leafy stems on them) takes time. If you find that you don't have the time to do that you can still have a refreshing bowl of cold borscht. All you have to do is go to your local supermarket and buy a jar of Gold's Borscht. Gold's is the brand of the soup and is usually the one found in supermarkets, but any brand will do. Then add a few ingredients to it and you are done.
Below you will find a cold borscht recipe that uses Gold's Borscht. It requires only a few ingredients to make and takes very little of your time. Of course making the soup from the bunch beets (with leafy stems) is more nutritious, but using the bottled soup is great as well, especially when you don't have the time.
When I make cold borscht what I do sometimes is mix the Gold's Borscht with actual bunch beets and their leaves. The soup tastes even better this way and is more nutritious. It is also a richer soup as the one from the jar doesn't have a lot of beets in it.
The recipe below can easily serve four people. Enjoy!
- 1 bottle Gold's Borscht
- 1 hard boiled egg
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 carton buttermilk
- few stalks scallion
- bunch fresh parsley, or fresh dill, dried parsley can be used as well
- sour cream
- lemon, optional
- Open a bottle of Gold's Borscht and pour the contents into a pot. Then add 1/2 carton of buttermilk and stir.
- Boil one egg so it is hard boiled. When it is done, place the egg under running water. Then remove the shell from the egg, cut the egg into small pieces and place into the pot with the soup.
- Wash a cucumber, peel, and cut into small slices. Then wash the scallion and cut into small slices. Add both into the pot with the soup and mix. You can do this step while you are waiting for the egg to boil.
- Add a small amount of salt to the mixture, sprinkle with dried parsley and stir. You can also add some fresh parsley and/or fresh dill. If you do that, first wash them under running water and then cut into small pieces before putting them into the dish.
- You are now ready to serve it. Simply pour a desired amount of the cold borscht into a soup bowl, add a teaspoon of sour cream, mix, and serve. You can squeeze some lemon into the dish if you like it to be a bit sour. Remember, this is a cold soup. You may need to place it into the refrigerator prior to serving and eating it, especially if the bottle of borscht was not in the refrigerator.
- This dish goes great with boiled potatoes and/or herring. So the next time you eat it, boil some potatoes and eat the two together. You are going to love it. You can even try some herring while you are it. It is something different and unique and will only make your meal taste better than it already does.
- You can add some shredded boiled beets to the soup, as well to give it even more substance and flavor.
The next time you crave for something delicious this summer try making the cold borscht (holodnik). I do it all the time and it is one of my favorite soups, not just in the summer but all year round. It may become one of your favorite soups as well. Enjoy!
© 2012 Lena Kovadlo