Indian Summer has arrived on the mountain. Cool crisp mornings, but afternoons that quickly remind you that Summer is not quite a memory. This is also the time of year that (organic) beets are in season, and I am a happy woman! Beets are a great source of Folate, Manganese, Fiber, Potassium, Vitamin C, Tryptophan, Magnesium, and Iron. When you select your beets make sure the bulbs are firm, and for ease of cooking that they are approximately the same size. You should also select your beets based on the green leafy tops….they should be fresh, not wilted, blackened, or slimy. Keep in mind that the tops of the beets (known as Beet Greens) are also nutrient dense and contain incredible amounts of Vitamin A, K and other nutrients. To prepare Beet Greens simply wash, roughly chop, and sauté the greens with our favorite spices in pastured butter, coconut oil or bacon fat. Voila, it’s that easy!
The recipe I am sharing with you today is so refreshing on warm days, Chilled Beet Borscht. This was my favorite summertime soup when I was a child, one my Mother would “whip up” with beets from our garden, (in other words there was no written recipe). I have recreated this soup from memory, and I think if my Mother were alive today she would enjoy my version of her Beet Borscht…Beautiful, nutrient dense and refreshing, I hope you enjoy it too.
3 pounds of fresh organic beets
4 or more cups of Filtered Water (enough to cover the beets)
1 teaspoon of Organic Onion Powder
½ teaspoon Organic Ground Ginger
Celtic Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper (to taste)
¼ Cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice from organic lemons
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
3 to 4 Tablespoons of Raw Honey (melted) and/or Stevia to taste
2 Cups of Sour Cream
Wash and cut off the beet greens (set aside for later use)
Scrub the beets well in running water to remove dirt.
Cut beets into quarters (this speeds up the cooking time)
Place the cut beets in a large pot and cover with cold filtered water.
Bring the water and beets to a full boil and continue cooking until beets are tender when pierced with a fork (about 15 to 25 minutes).
Remove the beets from the water/”beetjuice” (do not discard the water/beetjuice…this is the base for your soup).
Rinse the cooked beets in cold water and peel the outer skin from the beets, then grate, slice, cube, or julienne the cooked beets and set aside.
*** If you notice sediment in the bottom of the pot once you have removed the cooked beets, strain the beet juice through a fine sieve into a smaller pot.
Add sea salt, freshly ground pepper, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, raw honey/stevia, onion powder and ginger, to the beet juice, stirring to combine and until the honey has dissolved.
Cool the mixture slightly before proceeding to the next step.
Place 1 ½ to 2 cups of beet juice, ½ to ¾ cup of sour cream, and some of the sliced beets into your blender. Blend at a low speed until smooth.
Mix the blended soup with the rest of the beet juice and stir in the chopped beets.
At this point you will want to taste the soup and adjust the seasonings. The soup should be slightly tangy with just a hint of sweetness.
Chill for at least 2 hours and serve each portion with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche.