Coming up is a super picture-heavy post and I'm sure most of you will think: are you KIDDING me? These are all the same thing! But the result turned out so well I couldn't resist giving a step-by-step approach because this is something everyone should REALLY try!

It's Monday, the weekend is over. This means 1 more week of my second year of residency, 1 more week in the New Jersey hospital and 1 more week of ease before Hell Rotation starts again. Also 1 more week of Boyfriend's residency before his fellowship (Hell Year!) starts. I started Saturday by commuting in and out of New Jersey for only 3 hours of work and made it to the gym in time to watch The Next Food Network Star. I managed to run 7.5 miles!

Quick exercise note: I am lucky to have a gym that has TVs mounted on the treadmills, so I time my workouts according to good shows to watch on TV. They have more channels there than we do at home and I don't have to feel guilty for taking up the TV with Food Network! So when there's a good long show on, I can run a lot more.

Just before I left for the gym, I made THIS: BORSCHT!!
Pink Soup! =) =)
Yes, yes, I was born in Ukraine, grew up eating variations of the stuff (though I never particularly liked it) and have NEVER worked with a beet in my whole life.

Two weeks ago Boyfriend's Mom made some vegetarian summer borscht as part of dinner and it was soooo good (and garnished with yogurt instead of sour cream!). It was just the right amount of sweetness, acidity and heartiness for a summer soup. I asked her for the recipe but like all Russians (and me, sadly) she mostly eyeballed it. So though I did go on the net and search out borscht recipes, I used her advice for garnish and other things. Here's a mish-mash of lots of different internet recipes made to resemble and taste just like Boyfriend's Mom's Borscht. BMM =)

The picture here is of me grating a beet. I used 2 giant beets and grated them using the large holes on my grater.

Boy did they make a huge pot full of borscht shavings!
Into the pot I added about 10 cups of water and set it to boil.

So far: 2 ingredients.

There's a lot of variation out there for what to put into borscht aside from beets. A lot of countries make their borscht with meat and potatoes, some with onions, some with cabbage and the list is endless. I saw a lot used eggs? Mine was a summery cold borscht (cold=no meat, otherwise it would get all gellied) with cool cucumber and refreshing dill.

As the pot boiled, I began to skim off the foam as recommended by many of the websites I looked at. I abandoned this approach very fast and decided that the foam couldn't possibly taste that bad.

As it boiled I began to add acidity: 2 tbsp lemon juice and maybe 2-3 tbsp rice vinegar to start. You can use any sort of light-colored vinegar but I happen to have a lot of rice vinegar so there you go.

It didn't last, I kept going. More lemon juice, more vinegar (maybe up to 4 tbsp each? It's a BIG pot kids. I also added approximately 2 tbsp sugar and a few sprinkles of sat (maybe up to 2-3 tsp?). I even cracked in some black pepper (which on tasting later was really fun!)

I basically just kept taking little sips of it throughout the seasoning process to get it to the right level of acidity. Don't worry about the SLIGHT bitterish taste, a little dallop of yogurt takes care of that easily.

Garnish: Cucumber, Scallion, Dill.

I chopped up about 3 of these big scallions all the way to the bottoms and threw them into the soup probably about halfway through.

I knew it was done when the beets were the consistency I wanted (a little al dente but fairly soft). I feel like that's pretty subjective. It took me about 30-40 minutes total.

When the soup was done I separated it into two giant tupperwares and garnished 1 of the 2 with a medium sized cucumber (peeled and finely chopped) and a few handfuls of fresh dill (also chopped).

This is what the soup looks like when it's still warm from the pot with the cucumber tossed in.

I set this out to cool in the refrigerator and when I came home from the gym, I put it into a little bowl for a snack.

I also dipped a teaspoon into a tub of greek yogurt (0% Fage) and mixed it into the soup. PINK SOUP!!! Could it be any cuter?

Dipping the bread into it was HEAVENLY. A word of advice: add yogurt and any dairy product as you eat. Otherwise it doesn't last and gets a little grainy.

So now, in my refrigerator are these giant tupperwares of Borscht. I toyed with freezing some of it but I don't think this will last that long after all. I judge 2 cups of this soup to be less than 100 cals (ingredients are beets, cucs, scallions and dill with the TINIEST sprinkle of sugar per cup). It tastes just like a soup salad and it's pink. Watch out for pics of Borscht in a Jar!

After my little post-run borscht snack, BF and I got ready to head to an engagement party for Rocket Scientist and Nurse Z. This was soooooo pleasant. Rooftop apartment, great atmosphere, elegant but understated party. My favorite things. I was surprised to find myself in quite a few of the montage photos, though since their relationship rests heavily on skiing and I accompany them on many group trips, it makes a bit of sense. Boyfriend was also treated to a great video of my first time skiing in the trees and falling and being unable to dig myself out of the snow for a good long time. =)

Next Post: Chicken Wings!! A La Jules =)


06/28/2011 05:44

oh, this looks so lovely and refreshing! one of my summer favorites! i have some roasted in balsamic vinegar and will make some with those. love the cucumber addition, too.

06/28/2011 12:45

Hi Serenity,
That's great, the beets already roasted in the balsamic should A) put in the neccessary acidity and B) cook faster (I think?)
The cucs are SOOOO important. They give it a coolness, a sweetness and most importantly: a crunch! Had a nice jar of it for lunch today.
I hope that people read the site for the next post, it will have your picture link on it.

06/30/2011 16:46

yes, the root veggies grow so big here without help and the balsamic adds some great flavor and roasting makes the peeling easier. i also roast carrots to get another veggie in. i will pick up cukes for that nice addition. wish they had kefir here, but a dollop of yogurt will do. pink soup is beautiful.
i was so happy for a moment today when my corningware arrived so i could do some baking and try those corn muffins. one piece of an 8 piece set in two boxes! this could take a while!
also i like your "about me" addition. i was in ukraine central and i do miss my pierogies!
happy cooking!


Leave a Reply



    I'm a recent graduate from medical school and a pathology resident living in New York City. Like most girls living in the city, I've found that a lot of my social life revolves around the regular consumption of high-calorie food and alcoholic beverages. I've decided to start a blog about how I am trying to beat the bulge by eating and cooking defensively between social engagements and how even a busy girl can fit exercise into a busy life.

    All recipes are on Petitchef


    December 2012
    November 2012
    October 2012
    March 2012
    February 2012
    January 2012
    December 2011
    November 2011
    October 2011
    September 2011
    August 2011
    July 2011
    June 2011
    May 2011
    April 2011