YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Cold Borscht (beet soup)

Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to be 94 degrees.  Cold soup would be a very good idea. It would also be a good idea to cook the vegetables either tonight or early in the morning, before it warms up.

This recipe comes from a friend who can look forward to a great big bowlful just as soon as he recovers from surgery tomorrow.  His note says that it is “Wonderful on a hot day!”  It also says that the recipe is over a century old, and that it comes from the old Austro-Hungarian province of Marmor.

To make Russian-style borscht, cook the vegetables with 3-4 cloves of fresh minced garlic, add 2 tablespoons of honey to the boiling water, and skip the yogurt.

3 eggs

1 cup plain greek yogurt (optional) 

6 tablespoons lemon juice 

2/3 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound mix of fresh beets (including the green tops) PLUS any combination of swiss chard, spinach, shredded zucchini, summer squash, green beans, yellow wax beans, shredded cucumber, and/or tomatoes.

2 cups ice water with 4-6 ice cubes

2 teaspoons fresh dill

#1 Early in the day, chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, place in a medium-sized soup pot, and add 2 cups water.  Cook on medium until the beets are soft, approximately 20-30 min. Put the entire contents of the soup pot, vegetables and liquid, into the refrigerator. 

#2 Place four soup bowls in the freezer.

#3 Later in the day, strain the cold vegetables and liquid, and save the stock.  Then proceed.

#4 Beat the eggs in a large 3-4 quart bowl until frothy, and continue to beat while adding 2/3 cup boiling water in a thin stream. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and chilled vegetable stock.  

#5 Add the ice water, followed by the cooked vegetables. Stir, and remove any unmelted ice cubes. Sprinkle with fresh dill, and serve in the chilled bowls.

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