Nadya’s Modern Borscht
- 4 fresh beets
- 4 russet potatoes
- 1 fennel bulb
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger root
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1½ quarts fresh vegetable broth (or low sodium store bought)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ fresh spinach
- ¾ cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, optional
- 1½ tablespoons fennel sprigs, optional
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Scrub the beets well, making sure there is no dirt on them. Peel the potatoes and quarter them. Trim the fennel, reserving some sprigs, and cut in half. Peel the ginger and garlic.
- Place the beets, potatoes, fennel, ginger, garlic, and broth in a soup pot. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, for about 45 minutes.
- Strain the soup, reserving the liquid. Place the solids and cover with the reserved liquid in a blender and secure the lid. Blend on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth or desired consistency is achieved. Do this in two batches if necessary and then combine the blended soup in the original pot. Season with salt and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Make sure the soup is very hot. Place the spinach in the bowls and ladle the soup on top. Give the hot soup a few minutes to cook the spinach underneath and to cool off slightly. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, fennel sprigs, and fresh black pepper. Enjoy!
Makes: 8 servings Total Time: 1 hour
About the Chef
Chef: Nadya Migalko
Family: Husband – Greg Shockro; Kids – Edgar (5), Emmylou (1); Dogs – Teddy, Jack, and Bailey
Hobbies: Photography, painting, cooking, hanging with my family, exploring my surroundings
Favorite Local Activity: Eating out
About the Recipe: Being from Ukraine, borscht was something that I ate often growing up. Everyone in my family had their own version, my favorite being my father’s. Since moving to Southern California at nine, I’ve been shaped by the laidback life of the beaches and the sun. This is my own version of the dish that comes from my roots, and has been transformed by the salty waves of the Pacific. I make this recipe for my family and friends who come over to cook and eat with us.
About the Chef: I currently call Encinitas home and love exploring this town and its history. Our family is fun and dynamic and sometimes a circus. With two small kids and three small dogs, it’s always funny and the love is strong. I work as an artist, focusing on film, photography, and painting. To me, cooking is meditative and a gift. When I give a dish of something I’ve prepared to a person, there is so much pleasure in just the action itself. My art is a reflection of the things that interest me, and my perspective on what I see on a daily basis. My artist account on Instagram is @nadyamigalko.