Borscht (beet soup), chilled or hot, can be an excellent way to use a variety of spring produce. Detailed recipes abound, but you really just need a sense of the basic structure of the soup to adapt it to whatever is on hand. Below we present our loose master recipe for borscht, based on spring produce from the farm, which makes an easy meal that’s great for leftovers as it serves well chilled on a hot day.
This recipe intentionally does not have specific quantities listed, as an important skill in cooking with CSA produce is to not get hung up on specifics but learn to balance whatever quantities and items you have on hand. This just gives you a sense of the ratios we like to work with and lets you experiment with the rest.
- 2:1 ratio chopped beets to other root crops (carrots, turnips, etc.)
- chopped beet greens or other cooking greens
- small amount of garlic (scapes or cloves) to taste (scape pesto works well)
- small amount of scallions to taste (reserve some greens for topping)
- non-meat broth (vegetable, mushroom, or even home-canned tomato juice)
- salt to taste
- 1/4-1/2 cup yogurt per final serving (like our home-made goat yogurt)
- herbs, if desired
Coarsely chop all the produce, and saute briefly in a soup pot. Cover with broth and/or water to an inch above the produce, and simmer ~30-40 minutes until everything is soft. Blend into a smooth liquid using an immersion blender or food processor. Depending on the varieties of beets used, the color will be anything from deep purple to electric pink. Serve warm or cold topped with a swirl of yogurt and some minced scallion greens and/or fresh herbs.