Borscht Cold, red_TNT.
Perfect for a hot summer day.
Water -3 quarts
Small Onion finely chopped or diced – 1(optional)
Potatoes – 3-4
Carrots – 2-3
Beets – 1-2 (I prefer whole canned, but not pickled - 1 can.)---how large a can?
Cabbage, shredded – 2 cups (I buy coleslaw salad package)
Salt to taste.
A sour salt also known as citric acid or lemon juice also to taste.
Egg, raw – 1-2
Smoked fish or herring
A cold borscht is as much about cooling you down on a hot and humid summer day, as much as about making something very quickly so not to get the house hot by cooking. It cooks very quickly and provides enough sustenance to cover both lunch and dinner.
Peel potatoes. I like my soup thick, so I boil 1 or 2 potatoes whole. I will use them later to thicken the soup. When whole potatoes are cooked and while the soup is still cooking, I mash the boiled potatoes using a little liquid from the soup. Then I add the mashed potatoes into the soup pot and mix well. Voilà! Your borscht is not watery any more. This step is optional.
For the soup: I julienne the potatoes, kind of like French fries. I like shredded carrots, you can buy them already shredded from a store or do it yourself. If I use onion, I chop it finely. I buy canned whole beets and shred them on a big hole grater. I let whole potato cook for about 10 minutes or so, depending how big they are, at this time add in the cut up potato, then few minutes later carrots and cabbage, when potato is ready add the beets. Also, at this time, add the juice from the beets. Taste check for salt. I do not believe in adding pepper to cold borscht. At this time add citric acid or lemon juice. Do not overdo it. It has to have a hint of tartness, but not to be sour.
Turn off let it cool.
In a bowl, beat the raw egg. When borscht has cooled down, but is still a bit warm, start adding the egg. Constantly stirring because you do not want the egg to cook. This is called tempering. In Ukrainian the whole process is called “zability borscht” (to make borscht whiter/lighter in color). This is done for color rather than taste. Cold borscht should be light in color, like magenta.
After this step, your borscht is done.
Refrigerate until it is ready to be served.
To serve: garnish the bowl of Borscht with a spoonful of sour cream, finely chopped green onions, cucumbers, radishes and slices of hardboiled egg. Dill is a must! You can use any other fresh veggies that you like. Or don’t put anything. This is how I like to eat it. I serve the borscht with a slice of good bread, with some sour cream spread on it and couple of slices of smoked fish or herring. I happened to make my own rye bread, but any good bread will do.
What a treat on a hot day. This is a meal in itself. There are plenty of calories to keep you going for the whole day. The whole preparation takes about half an hour, unless you use raw beets, then it takes longer.
If you use raw beets start by boiling the whole beets, they take the longest to cook. When they are ready, take them out and shred before adding back to borscht.
P.S. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask, I know my English is not that great, so I may not be clear.
P.P.S. I know some people are weary of beets, believe me in this soup you will never taste them.
You are what you eat.