Before I get to today's recipe, I wanted to remind you that I have a giveaway running right now - If you missed Monday's post, head over to enter for a chance to win two packages of Navitas Naturals organic superfood snacks. The giveaway is open until midnight tonight (Eastern time) and I will announce the winner tomorrow!
A couple of months ago, I headed to Chapters with a gift card in hand, ready to pick out a new cookbook for myself. After going through the entire section of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, I finally decided on one that I actually hadn't heard about before: Ripe from Around Here, the second cookbook from Jae Steele.
The cookbook focuses on using local and organic ingredients as much as possible, and the recipes are categorized by season to make the most of fresh seasonal produce. There are so many recipes that I want to try, but the first one that I chose was her recipe for chilled borscht.
The recipe sounded pretty easy, since it didn't require cooking the beets. Instead, you simply grate raw beets and soak them in hot water, then add some other raw ingredients and let everything chill in the fridge.
I made a few changes to the recipe, including the addition of shallots, lemon juice, ginger and freshly grated coconut (if you don't have fresh coconut, you could try substituting dried unsweetened shredded coconut, but I can't guarantee how that will turn out because I haven't tested it!) I also used light coconut milk as part of the liquid instead of almond milk, to add even more coconut flavour.
I loved how refreshing and cooling this soup was, and I liked having the texture of all the raw ingredients rather than pureeing everything into a smooth soup. I also thought the balance of flavours from the beets, coconut, dill and lemon was perfect, although they mellowed out after sitting in the fridge over the next few days. So for the best and brightest flavours, I would recommend eating this on the day you make it, or you can always add a new squeeze of lemon juice to your leftovers!
I've been wanting to make a borscht soup for a while now, and this chilled version was perfect for summer! If you love beets as much as I do, then I'm sure you'll love this soup too!
Chilled Beet & Coconut Borscht
Adapted from Ripe from Around Here
2 large beets (about 3 inches diameter)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp agave nectar (or another liquid sweetener)
1.5 cups boiled water
1/2 a shallot, minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 a cucumber
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut (optional)
1 cup light coconut milk
Dash of ginger
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
Plain yogurt for serving (optional)
Peel the beets and grate them using a hand grater or a food processor. Place the grated beets, sea salt and agave in a large bowl and pour the boiled water over them. Cover with saran wrap for 5 minutes. Add the shallot, green onion and dill and cover again. Place in the fridge to chill for 30-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and grate the cucumber and fresh coconut (I used my food processor to do this). When ready to serve, stir in the cucumber, coconut, coconut milk, ginger and lemon juice. Season with pepper to taste and serve with plain yogurt if desired (I liked it both with and without yogurt).
Makes 4-6 servings.