Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cold Beet and Hot potatoes… in honor of Grandmama Mattus.

Pickled beets in a jar are a pretty common item in our household fridge while I was growing up. I was also one of those odd kid that loved borscht soup. I learned to really appreciate the beautiful vegetable even more at the Mattus' house.
Matt’s mom introduced me to cold borscht with hot potatoes one summer. I loved it and I started making this every summer when the vegetable is bountiful.

This recipe is my version and it is my tribute to Grandmama Suzi, a woman who took me under her wings when I came to Mainland. I loved cooking with her and I thought of her often when I made some of her dishes. Miss you much!!!

Cold beet soup with hot potatoes

2 bunches of beets, I am using red and golden beets here. About 2 cups cleaned, peeled and cubed.
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cups of water
Juice of ½ lemon.
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

4 yellow potatoes, I am using German potatoes from this week’s CSA, otherwise I would prefer Yukon
½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
Finely chopped chives.

Soak the beets in cold water, brush and clean off the soil. Remove the leaves, separate the stem. Peel the root and cut into cubes. Keep the stems and chopped into small ½” pieces.
You can sauté the greens and serve as a side dish. In this recipe, the leaves will not be used.

In a medium size pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil till hot over med high heat.
Sauté and caramelize the onion.

Add beets and stems. Sauté for a couple more mins.

Add 3 cups of water, you can use vegetable stock. Grandmama used beef stock for this. These were organic beets and they were very sweet. I found taste is much brighter and the sweetness of the beets came through better with water.

Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in juice of 1/2 of a lemon

Bring to a boil and lower to med low heat. Cover and simmer the soup for about 30 mins till the beets are tender.

Remove the soup from heat and let rest for 5 mins. Prepare the blender, puree the soup to a thick texture. Taste and correct seasoning.

Remove from the blender into a storage container. Chill soup for about 1.5 hours till cold.

15 mins before serving. Boil potatoes. Peel and cubed into ½ inch piece.

When ready to serve:
Please ¼ cup of hot potatoes cubes in the bottom of a soup bowl.

Top with cold beet soup

Garnish with a Tbsp of Greek yogurt, sprinkle generously with chopped chive.



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