Members' Recipes Archive

July 2002
Summertime and the living is easy: Borsch
Elaine Hallgarten

Summertime and the living is easy: Borsch

By: Elaine Hallgarten

If we ever get any sun, here are a couple of ways to have the time to enjoy it - one an old favourite and the other a new idea which may well become an old favourite.

I never knew my maternal grandmother who, I suspect, was a great cook, but were she to know of my sacrilegious treatment of a traditional Polish/Russian soup, she might well be turning in her grave. She would surely have taken several days to prepare and cook this - starting with beef bones for stock, cooking the beetroot forever and adding potatoes when serving her masterpiece hot . If it was to be eaten cold, it would have been served in a glass - and certainly would have been the most refreshing drink imaginable on a hot summer's day. And she would have used vegetable stock if she planned to incorporate sour cream into the mixture.

My 'take' on this utterly delicious summer soup is, as you can see, the lazy one. Dress it up with diced fresh cucumber and spring onions if you like. An important aspect of this - and many other Polish/Jewish foods - is the sweet/sour flavour, so add a little sugar to balance the lemon.


450g cooked beetroot, peeled and chopped
1 litre cold vegetable stock (I use Marigold)
Lemon juice and sugar to taste
300ml soured cream or Greek yogurt
Large bunch of fresh dill, snipped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper


1. Reserving half the soured cream and dill, place all the ingredients in a blender and blend. You can make the mixture as smooth as you like, or leave some chunks.

2. Refrigerate as long as possible and serve, well chilled, with the reserved soured cream and more dill, to taste.

© Recipe copyright 2002 Elaine Hallgarten


Author: Elaine Hallgarten Email:

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