French Cold Beet Soup (Borscht) (Dairy)

Russian immigrants before World War I brought Borscht recipes to France.


2 pounds raw beets (about 4)

1 pound onions (2 medium sized)

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2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup sour cream

4 tablespoons fresh dill, chervil, or mint cut into chiffonade


Peel the beets and onions. Cut them into chunks and toss them together in a large soup pot. Pour in about 2 quarts of water, or enough to cover the vegetables by an inch or so. Add the garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil, skimming the surface of any impurities that rise. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about an hour, or until the beets are cooked. Stir in the vinegar and let cool.

When the soup has cooled off, ladle the vegetables and some of their broth into a blender and puree to the consistency of a thick soup. Adjust the thickness and seasoning of the soup to your taste, adding more beet broth for a thinner soup.

Serve cold in soup bowls with a dollop of the sour cream and a sprinkle of one of the herbs.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings