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Cold Borscht (Veselka Recipe)
Servings: 2 quarts // 8 first-course servings or 4 main-course servings
  • 1 pound (about 3) beets, scrubbed thoroughly but NOT peeled
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs, hard-boiled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
  1. To make the "beetwater," chop the beets roughly and place them in a stockpot.  Add water to cover, at least 8 cups.
  2. Place the stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours. (If it seems like the liquid is evaporating too quickly, you may need to partially cover the pot with an offset lid.) The beets should be extremely soft and the liquid should be bright red.
  3. Strain the liquid, pressing the cooked beets against the side of the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible.  Discard pulp or reserve to make Beet Salad. Reserve 3 cups of the beet water and set aside to cool completely. (If you have any leftover beet water, you can reserve it for another use or throw out.)
  4. When the beet water has cooled, whisk it with the half-and-half and buttermilk.  Add the sugar and vinegar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and all the ingredients are combined.  Chill until serving time.
  5. Peel and chop the hard-boiled eggs.
  6. To serve the soup, ladle portions into bowls and garnish each with a sprinkling of fresh dill, chopped hard-boiled egg, and diced cucumber.
  • Stef notes: 
  • To freeze, make everything except egg, dill and cucumber, which should be served fresh