ExperiencePlus! Blog

From Paola’s Kitchen: Cold Borscht Soup

When Rick and I were in Poland about to begin our Krakow to Budapest bike tour in 2009 I tasted a delicious borscht soup. This recipe reminds me of that soup, although my memory may be faulty after a year! Knowing however that beets are abundant at this time of the year and Indian Summer makes cold soups acceptable, I found this soup quite alluring.

About 1 and 1/2 pounds beets or 4-5 medium-sized beets
Two garlic cloves, sliced
Two large shallots, sliced
One bay leaf
One teaspoon coriander seeds (optional)
Three cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
One tablespoon sugar
Two tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste
One tablespoon olive oil
One tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
One cup whole-milk yogurt
Chopped fresh dill or chives (optional

  • Peel and slice the beets fairly thinly and put them in a large saucepan covered with 7-8 cups of water.
  • Add the garlic, shallots, bay leaf, coriander, cloves, cayenne, sugar, vinegar, oil and salt and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-25 minutes, or until the beets are tender.
  • Check the seasoning of the broth. It should be sweet, sour, peppery and flavorful. (If necessary correct the seasoning, adding salt and/or cayenne and freshly ground pepper.)
  • Cool slightly.
  • Remove the bay leaf and puree the mixture in a blender.
  • Chill in the refrigerator.

Just before serving, whisk in or spoon in the yogurt.



Adapted from the NY Times Magazine, July 25, 2010.