Aug 082014


Summer is the best season to enjoy cold soups. Gazpacho, tarator and cold beet borscht – they all are bright and delicious.

My cold beet soup with spinach or sorrel is easy to make and it is loaded with healthy ingredients. This is my modern version of traditional Russian cold soup Svekol’nik.

You definitely could savor it both ways: cold and hot. But when the sun is at its peak, it is a real pleasure to eat this zesty soup next day – from the fridge or at room temperature.

I highly recommend to serve this soup with my Yogurt sauce-dip. For even more complicated and interesting flavor I like to add 1 tbsp. of minced fresh mint to the sauce.

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Cold Beet Soup with Spinach or Sorrel (Svekol’nik with Spinach or Sorrel)


one 3 quart pot


  • 1 large beet (about 12 oz), washed thoroughly
  • 3 medium to large carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7-8 oz fresh spinach (or use frozen) or sorrel (see Note)
  • Juice of ½ lemon or less by taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Spring onion or chives for garnish
  • Hard boiled eggs for garnish, sliced
  • White yogurt sauce-dip for serving (see Note)




Peel the carrots and grate them using a mandolin grater (julienne).

Peel the beet and grate it using a mandolin grater (julienne). Use a plastic cutting board or a piece of wax paper, or the beet will discolor a wood cutting board.

In a heavy bottomed pot heat the olive oil. Add the beets and cook for 1 minute.

Add the carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Add garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves. Cook for 1 minute.

Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice and cook for 2 minutes.

Add water while leaving some space for the spinach, bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes.

Add the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Adjust the lemon juice and spices.

Cool for 1-24 hours.

Serve the soup, garnished with fresh chives or green onions, the egg slices or wedges, and a dollop of yogurt sauce.

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Jars of sorrel are available in Polish markets or in international sections of some grocery stores. You need 12-14 oz jar.

If using sorrel, omit the lemon juice.

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Cook with pleasure!


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