Svekolnik (Cold Borsch)
Svekolnik is a cold soup made on hot summer days. Thankfully, it’s crazy easy to make. The main component of svekolnik is svekla, which means beet in Russian. True to the stereotype, Russians use beets in pretty much all of their cooking, and for good reason! Beets are touted as the world’s healthiest food; they’re low in calories and high in vitamins.
- 1 ½ qts water
- 3 small young beets (about 1 pound)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 potato, about 5 to 6 ounces boiled skin-on then peeled
- 3 eggs hardboiled and peeled
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 scallions green parts, finely chopped
- Handful dill finely chopped
- ½ lemon
- Sour cream for topping
- Put beets in a pot with water. Add salt, sugar and vinegar (vinegar preserves the beets’ bright red color). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 40 minutes.
- Remove beets from the pot, reserving the broth. Put both aside to cool.
- While the broth and beets are cooling, coarsely chop bologna, potato, eggs and cucumbers.
- When the beets are fully cooled, coarsely grate them.
- Mix together potatoes, eggs, cucumbers, scallions, dill, and beets.
- When the beet broth is cool, squeeze the lemon juice into it, add previously mixed ingredients, and stir thoroughly.
- Soup is served cold with a dollop of sour cream.
To maintain the signature bright ruby red color of the soup, add a dash of vinegar or citric acid while you’re cooking.