Summer Borscht (Serves 6)
Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved
Photo: Quentin Bacon
5 medium fresh beets (about 2 pounds without tops)
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
16 ounces sour cream, plus extra for serving
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced English cucumber, seeds removed
½ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus extra for serving
Place the beets in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook uncovered until the beets are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the beets to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and also set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups of the beet cooking liquid, the chicken stock, sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and the pepper. Peel the cooled beets with a small paring knife or rub the skins off with your hands. Cut the beets in small to medium dice. Add the beets, cucumber, scallions, and dill to the soup. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Season to taste and serve cold with a dollop of sour cream and an extra sprig of fresh dill.