Quite flavorful, colorful and delicious, Classic Russian Chilled Borscht is a gem of Eastern European cuisine. Creative garnishing makes its unusual, pinkish magenta color even more appealing.
- 2 Quarts beef stock
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Cup cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 Cup potatoes, diced
- 1/2 Cup carrots, diced
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups canned tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup juice (from can of beets)
- 1 Cup cooked or canned beets, diced
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 1/2 Cups sour cream
- 1 English cucumber, unpeeled but washed (for garnishing)
- a wooden skewer
- chopped hard boiled egg
- fresh dill sprigs
- In a large heavy pan, melt butter and lightly saute cabbage, potatoes, carrots, celery and onion for approximately 5 minutes. Add beef stock.
- Blend canned tomatoes or press through a sieve until fine. Add pureed tomatoes and beet juice to stock. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are firmly tender but not soft.
- At this point, add the chopped beets and vinegar. Season well with salt and pepper and remove from heat before the beets begin to lose their color. Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature (about 1 hour), then refrigerate till cold, about 3 hours.
- Puree the cold soup in a food processor or blender.
- Blend in the sour cream.
- Slice the cucumber into thin ribbons on a mandoline and skewer in folds.
- Serve with a spoonful of chopped egg or slice of hard boiled egg, a sprig of dill and cucumber on skewer set over each bowl.
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