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Jason Zygmont’s Borscht Recipe

EDITOR’S NOTE: For our winter issue, Five and Ten’s executive chef, Jason Zygmont, spoke with Flagpole’s Hillary Brown about his love of soup. Below, Zygmont shares one of his favorite recipes:


8 medium red beets
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, medium diced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
8 cups of water
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Make a 1/4-inch bed of salt on a tray and place beets, evenly spaced, on the salt. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. The beets should give no resistance when punctured with a knife. Peel the beets immediately and allow them to cool. Once cool, cut beets into large chunks.

Place a pot on medium heat and add the canola oil. Sweat the onions for five minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Add the beets, bay leaves and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow everything to simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and purée in a blender until completely smooth. Add a little water if the soup is too thick. At the restaurant, we pass this through a chinois, but at home I don’t think that’s necessary.

Add the apple cider vinegar and adjust the soup’s seasoning with salt. Beets can take a lot of salt, so don’t be timid. Keep adding a little salt at a time and tasting. When you’re happy, the soup is happy.

We serve this with sorrel and buttermilk (both are slightly sour and pair nicely with the sweetness of the beets), but a dollop of crème fraiche and some chopped dill would also do the trick.