Chilled Summer Borscht

Chilled Summer Borscht

It’s hard to resist the brilliant, gem tones of this classic chilled soup. Beyond the visual appeal are the honey-and-spice notes of fresh summer beets infused with tangy-sweet balsamic vinegar, cracked pepper and fresh dill. As if that’s not enough for your senses, pairing it with the crunch of the glowing Radish and Cucumber Salad takes it to a whole new level!


  • 6 to 8 baby beets
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Radish and Cucumber Salad
  • Sour cream for garnish (optional)


  1. Wrap the beets in foil and bake them at 400° F for 1 hour or until fork tender. (Or cook them in boiling water.) Cool and slip off the skins. Coarsely chop them.
  2. In a heavy pot, heat the oil or butter and sauté the onion, celery root and garlic for 5 minutes or until the onions are tender and lightly golden. Stir in the tomato paste and sugar and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beets, broth, vinegar and dill. Cook for 5 minutes, to meld the flavors. Season well with salt and pepper. Allow to cool then puree in batches until smooth. Add more broth if it is too thick. Chill completely.
  3. Serve garnished with the Radish and Cucumber Salad, sour cream and dill sprigs and pass the pepper mill.

Recipe modified with permission from PCC Natural Markets.

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Lynne Vea