Retro Borscht or Beetroot Soup

Beetroot must be the Marmite of vegetables.  Mention it to the wrong person and they start gagging and retching at the very thought of it.  I'm sure this is because of a traumatic memory of the overly vinegared stuff on their grandmother's table served with the cold cuts.  But sadly it is hard to get past the amateur dramatics to get them to try it served a different way.  After all, it's flamboyant colour is near impossible to hide.

Bortsch has been a favourite of mine since my early teens, when my mother seemed to go through a phase of working her way through the 1960s recipes from her Kenwood liquidiser manual.  In the absence of this manual I have attempted to recreate Borscht as I remember it.

We usually ate it chilled in summer, but it equally good warm on a cold British summer day.

Serves a greedy 2

2 large or 3 medium cooked beetroot
1 small onion
1 medium carrot
1 stick of celery
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
600ml boiling water
1 beef stock cube
juice of 1 small lemon
salt and pepper
2 tbsp greek yoghurt

Peel and roughly chop the onion and start to soften in a saucepan over a medium heat whilst you peel and roughly chop the carrot, beetroot and garlic, and roughly chop the celery.  When the carrot and celery is chopped add this and soften for a few minutes before adding the hot water, stock cube, garlic, and chopped beetroot. Bring to the boil with a lid on and then simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes blitz the boiled ingredients.  If eating hot,  blitz with the lemon juice.  Season to taste.  Pour into bowls and serve with a heaped teaspoon of yoghurt.

If serving chilled, blitz, cool, then chill in the fridge.  Stir in the lemon juice before serving, then add yoghurt teach bowl as before.

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