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Best Recipes, Mains, Soups, Vegetarian

Warszawa's cold borscht

Warszawa's cold borscht
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: My husband and I have been regulars at Warszawa in Santa Monica for years. On hot days, I dream about their cold borscht, which is perfectly balanced and better than anything my grandmother ever made. Is there any ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, plus cooling time for the beets | Serves 4
  • 1/2 pound red beets, tops and roots trimmed but unpeeled
  • 2 cups buttermilk or yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about half a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, green part only
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, not seeded, and diced into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and sliced crosswise or diced

Step 1Cook the beets in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Simmer the beets until they are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, drain the beets and set them aside until cool enough to handle.

Step 2Peel and grate the beets, saving any liquid produced when grating. You should have at least 1 cup of beets (any extra can be used as a garnish for salads and will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week).

Step 3In a large bowl, combine 1 cup grated beets and reserved liquid, buttermilk, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and salt using a large spatula.

Step 4One hour before serving, gently stir in the green onions, cucumber, dill and parsley. Cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to marry. This makes a scant 5 cups of soup.

Step 5Serve each bowl with a sprinkling of dill and slices of hardboiled egg.

Note: Adapted from Warszawa in Santa Monica.


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