Refreshing cold summer borscht

Finally! Summer is trying to make an appearance in the great PNW. I say “trying” because after a wonderful few weeks of hot and sunny weather it has started raining a lot again this week. But this is a mere passing trend and I know that the wonderful sunny weather will return soon.

With the hot weather coming on, it’s time for light and cooling meals. As soon as it gets to about 75 degrees, I start craving my absolute favorite summer time food. It’s savory, creamy, satisfying and has a wonderful lemony dill flavor. If you’re like me, I know what you’re thinking – time for a bowl of cold borscht!! What? You’re not thinking that? Hmm. Well, we’ll have to change your mind then.

Most people have never heard of cold borscht. Many people have heard of hot borscht, which is a wonderful soup made with beets, cabbage, potatoes and sometimes beans or tomatoes. There are as many recipes for borscht as there are regions in Eastern Europe. But the beauty of borscht is not confined to the cold winter months when you want a hot, hearty bowl of soup. There is also a summer borscht, which is a completely different soup and is incredibly simple to make. Summer borscht is paleo, gluten free, dairy free (optional), appropriate for many versions of low FODMAP, autoimmune, SCD, Whole-30, the list goes on and on.

Basically the soup itself is a very simple broth of beets and lemon. That’s it! It’s the varied toppings that you put on top that give it a lot of flavor and body. Traditionally in my family, we top the soup with a hard boiled egg, dill, scallions, garlic (optional), and sour cream or yogurt (dairy or non-dairy). My favorite yogurt for this is “Coyo”, which is a very thick coconut yogurt with the consistency of Greek yogurt which acts like sour cream. Put it all together and you have an absolutely delicious cold meal. Yum!!

Cold Summer Borscht
(Serves 4-6)

1 bunch beets, with beet greens
1 large lemon
salt, pepper
2 cups bone broth (optional)

Toppings (per serving):
1 hard boiled egg
3-4 Tbsp dill, minced
3-4 Tbsp green onions, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced (omit for low FODMAP)
Large dollop of sour cream or yogurt (dairy or dairy free)

Instant Pot directions:

Wash the beets and greens well. Remove the greens and cut off the hairy tops of the beets where the stem connects to the root. Cut greens and stems into bite-sized pieces.

Place in Instant Pot with about 2 teaspoons of salt and cover with enough water to submerge all the beets, greens and stems and have two more inches on top. You can also substitute a couple cups of bone broth for some of the water for extra flavor and nutrition.

Place the Instant Pot on the “soup” function for about 25 minutes. Allow to depressurize for 15-20 minutes.

When you can open the pot, remove the beets and allow to cool. Then peel, dice into bite-sized pieces and return to the pot. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. The soup should taste lemony.

Place in refrigerator to cool and serve cold with toppings.

Stove top directions:

Wash the beets and greens well. Remove the greens and cut off the hairy tops of the beets where the stem connects to the root. Cut greens and stems into bite-sized pieces, keeping the stems separate.

Place the beets and stems into a pot of water and cover. Cook on medium for about 45 minutes to an hour until beets are cooked through and soft.

Remove the beets and throw out the water. Allow the beets to cool. Then peel, dice into bite-sized pieces and return to the pot. Add the rest of the cooked stems, leaves and enough water to submerge all the beets, greens and stems and have two more inches on top.

Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the beet greens are very soft and all the flavors have melded. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. The soup should taste lemony.

Place in refrigerator to cool and serve cold with toppings.

By |2018-07-10T04:02:11+00:00June 14th, 2018|Autoimmune, dairy free, egg-free, gluten free, low FODMAP, Paleo, SCD|0 Comments

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