Beetroot Soup or Borscht Recipe
How to Make Quick and Easy Borsht (Beetroot Soup) - a Recipe for Autumn, Winter and Spring, when Beetroots are in Season
Borscht (also spelt borsht, borsch or bortsch) or Beetroot Soup is a traditional Jewish delicacy.
Borsht is Also a Popular Traditional Soup Throughout Eastern Europe
You can find variations of Borscht from Russia to Poland and Bulgaria, so, clearly, the Jews brought the recipe with them when they left Eastern Europe in the Diaspora.
Beetroot Soup Recipes are quite varied, and in Omsk, Russia, I tasted a much thinner version of Borsht, made mainly with cabbage and just a few shreds of beetroot and carrot. I have recently even bought Polish borsht as a packet soup, and in concentrated form in a bottle, from our local ethnic store. Some Romanian friends gave me yet another variant, which they called borsht (or bors"), but which didn't contain any beetroot but instead a fermented slightly sour-tasting liquid and lovage. It was quite tasty, but I much prefer my version.
The recipe below is Borsht the way my Mother used to make it (what a cliché!).
Beetroot soup is cheap to make, because it uses seasonal vegetables and very few ingredients. It is good for vegetarians as no meat is involved, and it is nourishing and tasty. What more could you ask?
First of All, a Word of Warning: Beware of Beetroot Stains
Beetroot stains everything,
from hands to wooden surfaces,
to clothes - a beautiful rich colour,
but not one you necessarily want in
You can rate this Beetroot Soup Recipe here
Prep Time: 5 Minutes and 20 - 30 Minutes cooking
Total Time: 25 - 35 Minutes
Beetroot Soup Ingredients
- 1 lb. Fresh Beetroot
- 2 Egg Yolks
- Half a Lemon
- Half a teaspoonful of Salt
- 1 teaspoonful of Sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of Sour Cream or thick plain Yogurt
- Many people grate the beetroot before cooking, but this is messy, so I don't do it.
- Many people have just a blob of sour cream on the top of the soup. Not me, I like everything mixed in together in a pink swirl.
- Recently I have been adding thick yoghourt to my beetroot soup instead of cream, as I think it might be healthier and better if you are trying to lose weight or cut down on fatty things.
So this is the way I make borsht:
- Wash the beetroots and remove leaves and any blemishes.
- Boil the beetroots for about 5 minutes to loosen the skin, then throw away the water.
- Peel and slice the beetroots and cover them in about one and a half pints of fresh water.
- Add juice of half a lemon, salt and sugar.
- Bring to the boil and gently simmer until the beetroot is soft (about 15 - 20 minutes), then let it cool slightly. Add any further lemon, salt or sugar to suit your taste - I think lemon juice brings out the flavour, but the sourness needs to be counteracted with sweetening, as this soup has a mildly sweet flavour.
- Take about half the beetroot slices, blend them with a little of the liquid in a blender, adding the two egg yolks and the cream or yogurt. Then add them slowly to the soup, stirring the mixture to stop it curdling. Bring it slowly to the boil and simmer for about one minute.
1. The soup can be served hot or cold.
2 Sometimes I use about quarter of a pint of milk instead of cream or yogurt. Milk and lemon juice tend to curdle, but this is avoided if you add the milk slowly whilst stirring, and then heat it slowly, maintaining the soup below boiling point.
3 The egg yolks thicken the soup, but you need to stir them in when the soup has cooled.
This is What Happens When Borscht Curdles
The Texture Is a Bit Weird But It Still Tastes Nice !
Here's a Variation on What Borsht Looks Like - The Russian Version
You can see that the above version is quite a thin soup, with little bits of vegetable floating about - unlike mine, which is thicker, and a different colour.
It looks different again if you use one of the many versions of borsht cup soup now available. They are actually quite tasty, but, to my way of eating, fresh tastes best".
Instant Borsch - this is the one I sometimes use when I just want an instant cup soup
It's nowhere near as good as the fresh home-made version, but makes a pleasant and comforting hot drink and it's amazingly cheap!
I always keep some in my cupboard, along with the tea and coffee.
When I make it, I usually add a little lemon juice and yogurt, cream or even milk, to make it more like the real thing.
Talking About Food, What About Food Waste? In Particular, Out-of-Date Food
What do You Think About Stores Selling Off Cheap Food Just Before it Goes Out of Date? - Take This Poll and See What Other People Do
Here in London, if you were to go shopping at the big chain supermarkets in the late afternoon, you would find quite a lot of perishable food being sold off at a reduced price because it has reached its "Best-Before" date without being sold at full price -
So would you buy it?
Do you buy reduced price perishable food from supermarkets?
Read about the Benefits of Beetroot.....Even Bears Like Borsht - Read the Article Below!
- Is beetroot a superfood? - NHS Choices
This article examines the latest research to see whether beetroot health claims are supported by the evidence.
- Couple rescued in Russia from borsch-eating bear - BBC News
This is an article from BBC News, including photos, showing the destruction caused in Russia by a bear who smelt the soup and decided to go for it, to the consternation of the people who lived in the house