Friday, July 12, 2019

Chilled Summer Borsht

chilled red beet borsht

Borsht is a tangy soup that is popular in Eastern European countries like Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine. It is usually made with beetroot as the base, but every region of Europe has its own variation of vegetables and ingredients that go into this rich looking "good for you" soup.

I make it in my Instant Pot and here is how

Winter Borsht;Summer Borsht 

My grandmother brought two borsht recipes with her from Russia. One was her winter recipe which included meat and was consumed hot, and the other was her summer recipe which had no meat and was always enjoyed chilled and blended with sour cream which yielded a pretty bright pink soup. 

homemade chilled borsht

My Parents Ate Borsht 

 I grew up watching both my parents devour this chilled beet root soup when summer temperatures and humidity where high and window air conditioners were few. I'm not sure if they ever convinced me to taste it until I was well into my upper teens, and then it wasn't a favorite. It is definitely an acquired taste.

Heat Wave 

We've been having a heat wave, and I just haven't felt like eating anything heavy. My grandmother's summer borsht idea popped into my head. I decided that since I do enjoy beets now, I might be able to appreciate a chilled glass of borsht. 

I was right; It was perfect in this hot weather and I actually enjoyed it. Not to mention that beets are really good for you: boasting lots of vitamins, minerals, valuable phytonutrients like carotenoids and healthy fiber.

If you are up for something different and refreshing in this hot weather, why not try a delicious bowl of borsht. I used my Instant Pot (pressure cooker) to cook the beets which does not give off heat. Then I blended, chilled, and enjoyed. It was simple. Of course everything in the borsht is gluten free|nut free|dairy free| (unless you add yogurt-you can sub vegan sour cream) which makes it a good allergy friendly soup!

Don't Worry About Peeling The Beets
* I buy organic red beets, so I soak and scrub them well but I don't bother to peel. It makes it easier. Since this soup is blended, the peels just disintegrates into the soup.
* My grandmother used "sour salt" in her borsht  which is citric acid- I substituted lemon juice and rice vinegar.

1/2 medium head of cabbage, quartered
1 large beet, washed, scrubbed and quartered
2 cups water
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
Cracked sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1/4 chopped dill for the garnish
1/4 cup per bowl of Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream

Place cabbage, beet, garlic, and water in the Instant Pot. Secure lid, close steam valve and set to cook for 16 minutes. When done cooking, allow to sit for 5 minutes and then carefully release steam according to the manufacturers instructions. Add lemon juice, rice vinegar, salt and pepper.  Allow to sit until vegetables cool off. I placed half of the mixture into my Nutribullet and whizzed until smooth. Top with Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream. Repeat for second half of batch.

Fresh Dill 
Shared on Beth Fish Reads where anyone can share a food related post.

Shared on Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, sammie, or salad.


  1. Haven't had chilled soup in a while...this looks so lovely with that gorgeous purple colour.

  2. You are in very familiar territory! My mother made cold beet and spinach borscht in summer, hot cabbage borscht with meat in winter -- all with sour salt. She only used one vegetable at a time. Her beet borscht was just the broth, "clarified" with an egg and with a few of the beets in julienne strips; the remaining beets were pickled. She served the summer borschts with a blob of sour cream and sometimes hot boiled potatoes.

    best... mae at

  3. I've had hot borsht but not a fan of cold soups. I was thinking of cold this week as my husband had dental surgery and is only allowed cold food for a few days but know he wouldn't go for it.
    I do love beets though.

  4. I really do enjoy chilled borscht in the summer, especially with a scoop of sour cream, and I think my dill plant has just enough left on it for garnish.

  5. I've never head cold borsht, but your photo makes it look so appealing.

  6. I was never sure what Borsht was exactly, who knew it looked so pretty!

  7. this sounds like a fabulous soup, and it is so pretty in pink. i must try it when summer comes! cheers sherry

  8. I love a good cold borsht in the summer. The color is gorgeous too! Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week! ;-)

  9. Not only is this beautiful, but it sounds delicious! I have never made borsht before. Perhaps now is the time to try.

  10. I've never tried this but I'm intrigued. Your recipe looks like it would be very good.

  11. Ummm. didn't finish that comment: . . . today at the farmer's market. I think I need some in my refrigerator!

  12. Oh and meant to say, I have a stash of sour salt!

  13. I've had warm borscht but never cold, Judee. I love this idea, so refreshing and healthy for summer! Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I hope you are having a lovely weekend! The party is back on Monday, i hope to see you there!


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