If you’ve been around the blog once or twice, you might have realized how much I love beets. Beet sandwiches, beet berry smoothies, beet salads…beet fiend. My beet berry smoothie began the episode of my mixing beets and berries. Since then I haven’t looked back. This summer blueberry borscht is the latest in my long love affair with beets. As a child, I never liked beets. My father told me that they were gross. He, I believe, had picked beets. Silly Dad. When I later tried them roasted as an adult, my life changed. So subtly sweet and interestingly slightly earthy. These days, I make huge batches of roasted beets and keep them in my refrigerator for my beet sandwiches or salads. Sometimes, I just pick one up from my little stockpile in the fridge and eat it like an apple. Then I floss because I’m a dentist and beets stuck in my teeth does not make a happy dentist.
The cucumbers give it some crunch and in the same bite you get juicy sweet blueberries. The balsamic vinegar gives it brightness (of flavor) and the basil adds just a tinge of floral herbiness. And then the beets. Maybe I should have called this soup Purple Rain Soup because most obviously the purple just knocks you over. It takes some time (chilling) in the fridge to develop the full on purple glory but hello beautiful! I want to eat you. So enjoy, and if you save some for the next day, it’s even better.
- 2 pounds beets without the tops
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup light sour cream, plus extra for serving
- 1 ½ cups nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ½ Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1⅓ cups medium diced English cucumber, seeds removed
- 1⅔ cups fresh blueberries
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- ⅓ cup shopped scallions, white and green parts
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more in chiffonade for garnish
- In a large pot, boil salted water. Add beets to boiling water and cook for 30-40 minutes or until beets are tender when poked with a sharp knife. Remove the beets to a bowl with a slotted spoon and run under cool water.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1½ cups of the beet cooking liquid (if there is any beet debris strain it out), the chicken stock, sour cream, Greek yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and the pepper.
- Peel cooled cooked beets with a pearing knife or rub the beet skins off and cut to ¼ to ⅓ inch dice. Add the beets, cucumber, scallions, blueberries and basil to the soup. Cover and chill fully - at least 4 hours or overnight. Season, to taste, and serve cold with a dollop of sour cream and a basil chiffonade garnish.