One summer day, Jeffrey and I headed to Little Odessa in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. We were visiting our business partner Jackie's ninety-two-year-old Russian-born great-aunt, Lilya. She had immigrated to Brighton Beach from the Soviet Union in 1989. Lilya was known for her borscht, and shed invited us to spend time with her while she salted and seasoned three varieties of the soup. At ninety-two, she was extraordinary, foisting shots of vodka on us and showering us with words of wisdom. We left Brighton Beach inspired and feeling lucky to have met her. She passed away a couple of years later. We developed this recipe with her in mind. This beet borscht is perfect served chilled on summer days or served hot in the colder months. The ideal borscht, writes Aleksandar Hemon in the New Yorker of his Bosnian family traditions, "contains everything . . . and it can be refrigerated and reheated in perpetuity, always better the next day . . . The crucial ingredient . . . is a large, hungry family, surviving together." Jeffrey thinks that this recipe should utilize rossel (the brine from fermented beets, otherwise known as beet kvass) instead of vinegar to add tang, since traditionally borschts coveted sour flavor was cultivated by first fermenting the beets. But I disagree. I like the flavor that vinegar adds, even if it isn't as Old World. This recipe uses vinegar (I won!), but if you'd like to be more old school and first wait a week to ferment your beets, follow the Beet and Ginger Kvass recipe (page 290) but omit the ginger. And while this recipe calls for roasting beets and adding them to the soup, it also tastes great without roasted beets. Just cut the beet amount to 1 pound if omitting the roasting step.
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|Serving Size: 1 recipe (3229g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1|
|Calories from Fat: 70 (14%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 7.8g||10 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.9g||4 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 5.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 1.1g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 8119.9mg||280 %|
|Potassium 2948.6mg||78 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 101.7g||30 %|
|Dietary Fiber 19.9g||80 %|
|Sugars, other 81.8g|
|Protein 12.3g||18 %|
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Calories per serving: 518
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