Hi friends! As we’re all starting to ease back into a little bit of normalcy, you know I have a one track mind. I can’t wait to start hosting again and inviting my friends over for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres once it’s safe to do so. I was going through my Flavors cookbook when I came across this recipe for my beautiful iced borscht.

Trust me, if you’ve never been a fan of borscht before, you’ll want to give my recipe a try. This version is dairy-free, light, and refreshing with a vibrant herby and beet flavor. It’s so tasty and good for you.

The dish will always remind me of my Hungarian roots. My grandmother used to make borscht when I was a little girl. It was thick and heavy but sweet and sour at the same time. My recipe won’t feel heavy but still has that sweet and sour flavor that’ll remind you of your grandmother’s cooking. It’s healthy and summery and makes a smashing vegetarian appetizer.

For garnish, I love using fresh dill and cucumber to compliment the earthiness of the beets. If you’re someone who loves juicing, think of borscht like your favorite beet juice, just jazzed up a bit. This light bite is also a life saver if you’re worried that your guests might have a few too many cocktails before dinner time. You’ll keep their stomachs happy without ruining any appetites for the main course. Whip these iced borscht shots out on a hot day and everyone will be thanking you, trust me.

Herby Iced Borscht
This summery soup is herby and refreshing and it'll remind you of your grandmother's cooking. I use chicken stock but you can substitute that for vegetable stock to make this dish completely vegetarian. It's the perfect light bite.
Herby Iced Borscht
Print Recipe Herby Iced Borscht
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: appetizer, borscht, cold soup, Comfort, soup
Servings: 12 people

Equipment

  • box grater, Vitamix or strong blender

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beets 6 medium beets, stems and roots trimmed to no more than ½ inch long
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and finely minced
  • 7 cups chicken stock or reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • cup red wine vinegar
  • cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups hothouse or English cucumber finely diced
  • ½ cup fresh dill finely chopped

Instructions

  • Bake the beets until they are just tender. About 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool the beets in the foil to room temperature. The beets can be prepared to this point up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in the foil packets.
  • Peel the beets and with a box grater, grate them coarsely. In a large, nonreactive pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  • Add the stock, the grated beets, vinegar, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover and cook, stirring often until the beets are tender and the borscht is very thick 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and puree in a Vitamix. Cover and chill until very cold. Spoon into individual serving containers and garnish with dill and cucumber.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below about any recipes that you swear by. And even if you’re not having any guests over, you can always cut my recipe in half and make a portion for yourself to keep in the fridge. This will make an awesome snack in between meals and the flavors will develop even more after the first day.

I hope everyone is staying smart, safe and healthy out there. We still have a long way to go before things can go back to normal, but it’s important to keep cooking and having fun in the kitchen in the meantime. Food will always bring us together.

XO,

Pamela