Chilled Summer Borscht

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  • 6 to 8 baby beets
  • 3 tablespoons high-heat 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
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Radish and Cucumber Salad (optional)
  • Sour cream, for garnish (optional)


Wrap beets in foil and bake at 400° F for 1 hour or until fork tender. Cool and slip off their skins; coarsely chop.

In a heavy pot, heat oil or butter and sauté onions, celery root and garlic for 5 minutes or until onions are tender and lightly golden. Stir in tomato paste and sugar and cook for 1 minute more. Add 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.

Serve garnished with Radish and Cucumber Salad, sour cream and dill sprigs if you like, and pass the pepper mill.

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