Serve Cold or Hot
5 medium fresh beets without tops
2 cups vegetable stock preferably homemade
16 oz. sour cream, plus extra
¼ cup sugar
2 tbls. lemon juice
1.5 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp. wine vinegar
2 cups medium diced, seeded and peeled cucumber
one half cup chopped whole scallions
2 tbls. chopped fresh dill and some in reserve for garnish
Cook beets in an uncovered pot with salted water until they are tender. Remove the beets and set aside. Strain the liquid and put in the fridge.
Peel and medium dice the scallions, cukes and beets (wear gloves, or clean your hands with lemon juice if they turn pink).
In a big bowl, whisk together the 1.5 cups of the beet liquid, lemon juice, vegetable stock, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. If you are counting your calories, don’t add the sour cream, just use a dollop of it as a garnish, but if you love the hot-pink version of borscht, also add about 12 oz. of the sour cream.
Put the diced veggies in the borscht and chill. When it is cold (about 3-4 hours) serve it with a dollop of sour cream on top with a garnish of fresh dill fronds.