January 25, 2010

Winter Borscht

There are many versions of this classic soup, some are cold for summer eating, but here is a recipe for warmth on winter days. It is adapted from a recipe by my friend Harriet Shorr, who titled it "Mercer Street Borscht". She uses soup bones in order to make a hearty stock, which you can do if you would like, but I find it perfectly delicious as a vegetarian recipe, using many of the fall crops stored in the cellar. I love the color of this soup, its vivid cherry red turning to deep pink as you swirl the yogurt through the broth.

8 cups water
4 medium sized beets, parboiled for 1/2 hour, then peeled and grated
4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 small cabbage, about 1 lb, shredded
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb tomatoes, with their juice (canned is fine, I sometimes use homemade sauce instead)
salt and pepper

parsley and dill (if I don't have these on hand in winter I don't use them)
chopped garlic to taste
juice of one lemon

  1. Put the vegetables with the water in a large pot, bring to the boil and cook, partly covered, till they are quite soft, 40 minutes or so, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add lemon juice and herbs, and garlic if you wish.
  3. Serve hot with yogurt or sour cream.


  1. beautiful colors in this soup and its place setting...

  2. I want to make this soup this weekend in Orient.