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Shared by Sasha Shor

Cold Borscht

Yield: 6 - 8 servingsTime: 1h 15min plus cooling time

Cold Borscht

Yield: 6 - 8 servingsTime: 1h 15min plus cooling time

This recipe was shared by Sasha Shor. Read more about her family in "The Cold Borscht That Marks the Start of a Soviet Summer." 


For the borscht:

  • 6-8 medium beets, peeled and quartered
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of one large lemon

For the mix-ins:

  • 3 Persian or Kirby cucumbers, trimmed and chopped into ½” cubes
  • Hard boiled eggs, sliced lengthwise (1 egg per serving)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped, stems discarded
  • 3-4 scallions, sliced thinly, green and white parts
  • 6 large radishes, trimmed and chopped into ½” cubes
  • Lemon wedges (served on the side)
  • Sour cream


  • Step 1

    Place the beets and water in a large stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until beets are easily pierced with a fork.

  • Step 2

    Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, remove the beets, reserving the beet stock, and grate on the large side of a box grater. Return the grated beets to the beet stock.

  • Step 3

    Season with sugar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Mix well and taste, adjusting for seasoning.

  • Step 4

    Move to the fridge to chill for a minimum of 8 hours, and ideally overnight.

  • Step 5

    To serve: ladle chilled soup into bowls (50% beet stock, 50% grated beets). Top each bowl with a spoonful of cucumbers, scallions, radishes, 2 hard boiled egg halves and a healthy pinch of chopped fresh dill. Add a dollop of sour cream and a final squeeze of lemon.