Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cold Borsch (Beet) Soup

Coping with a "Cultured" Kitchen
Today is one of those beautiful California days.  Snow and intense blue sky.  My snowboarding son and hubby call them "bluebird days" .... fresh powder and blue, blue sky.  You are reminded of God's provision and his grace, mercy and justice.

Tuesday was coop and grocery store day.  This time I blocked Wednesday out to deal with the groceries.  No one ever said that making nutritious, interesting meals was quick or easy.  The list was long, but good.  Kefir, low-temperature yogurt, ginger ale, beet kvass, bread and new sponge, mayonnaise, Kombucha Tea and soaked granola.  Today I am drying the granola on the wood stove, cooking some beef and bone broth beside it and putting everything away.  I still need to make a menu, but think I will leave it for tomorrow.

So.... what to make for dinner.   I have an abundance of pickled beets left from making beet kvass, beef and bone broth and I have kefir..... Although I have never tried borsch, it made its way to the top of today's menu because of the ingredients that need to be used from the fridge.
This should be a great summer soup, hopefully it is cold and yummy.  If it is not yummy, we will try again.  This is the recipe that will be the base.  I plan to use kvass and some of the pickled beets in place of the fresh beets and kefir in place of the sour cream.  Wish me luck.

Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup, Saltibarsciai,
also known as known as cold borsch
or cold bortsch or cold borscht

Borsch is the most famous and popular Russian soup. But no one calls it soup in Russia, it's 'Borsch'. The main ingredients are red beets, cabbage, potatoes and meat or chicken broths. Some people make 'vegetarian' borsch without any meat, only with vegetables.
Borsch has a very rich and delicious taste.

Here is the basic Borsch recipe:

1lb - beef (or chicken)
3 - red beets
0.5lb - cabbage
1 - carrot
4 - potatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

Put beef into a large saucepan and cover with 3 liters cold water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Remove the grease froth from the broth surface with a spoon. Cut cabbage, potatoes and carrot. Add chopped vegetables into the cooking pot. Cut red beets. When all vegetables are cooked add red beets at the very end. Add salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Borsch is served with sour cream.


  1. Sounds pretty good. I will have to give it a try. You have a lot of cooking this week... I did a lot last week & got pretty uptight about how much time I was spending in the kitchen. This week most things are made & it is so relaxing to just cook the meal. Next week will probably be busy again.

  2. I am kind of hoping that with the one intense day, the next week is lower key. It sure can get intense... but good. I'll let you know how the soup turns out. I need to figure out what to do with the beets.