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Midsummer Borscht (Beet Soup)

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Beets – you either love them or you hate them, but everyone can agree that these dark hued roots do amazing things for your health. On Earth Day this year I wanted to celebrate with a fun recipe “of the earth” and what better way to celebrate than with the the beloved and ubiquitous beetroot soup of Eastern Europe? There are many ways to make borscht, from hot and hearty to cold and demure. Although hot borscht with chunks of beetroot and beef broth is comforting on a wintry day, this cold puréed version might be just what you’re looking for as spring moves into summer and appetites are better pleased with brighter, lighter flavors.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Beets are surprisingly versatile, and one of the greatest things about them is that they blend wonderfully into soups. Beets are extremely heart healthy--they're a natural source of nitrates, which get converted to nitric oxide in the bloodstream. Consuming beets or beet juice has been shown to lower blood pressure and possibly help you exercise longer with improved blood flow. So what are you waiting for? Give this soup a try!

By Katie Bishop, MS, Nutritionist

Midsummer Borscht (Beet Soup)

  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:2 hours 30 minutes
  • Servings: 7

Ingredients

1 pound red beets (scrubbed cleaned)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1.5-2.5 cups chicken broth (if not homemade, then low sodium)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon (juiced)
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup yogurt or sour cream
Chopped dill or fennel fronds (for garnish)
Optional: Radish flowers (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Steam beets in a medium-large pot over about 2 inches of simmering water (about 2.5 cups).
  2. Cook beets for 20 minutes.
  3. Add onions to water simmering below beets and continue cooking until beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit until beets are cool enough to touch.
  4. Peel beets by sliding off skin under cold running water, dice, and add to the oniony water.
  5. Add 1.5 cups chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  6. Blend soup with an immersion blender until smooth, adding more broth and salt as needed.
  7. Blend in lemon juice once desired texture has been reached.
  8. Allow soup to come to room temperature then chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  9. Serve with black pepper, a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, and fennel fronds.
Steam beets in a medium-large pot over about 2 inches of simmering water (about 2.5 cups). Cook beets for 20 minutes. Add onions to water simmering below beets and continue cooking until beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit until beets are cool enough to touch. Peel beets by sliding off skin under cold running water, dice, and add to the oniony water. Add 1.5 cups chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend soup with an immersion blender until smooth, adding more broth and salt as needed. Blend in lemon juice once desired texture has been reached. Allow soup to come to room temperature then chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve with black pepper, a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, and fennel fronds.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 145; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 9mg; Sodium: 637mg; Potassium: 271mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Fiber 3mg; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 12g

Nutrition Bonus: Calcium: 37%; Vit C: 29%

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