This is an elegant version of borscht, a clear, rubyhued broth served chilled, rather than the heartier beet soups suited to the long winter months. If you have made Rye Bread Kvas (see page 177), try adding a splash to the finished soup.
Put the vegetables and aromatics into a large pan and cover with
5 cups of cold water. Season with the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 40 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, reserving the broth and discarding the vegetables (which will have lost their flavor). Let cool, then taste for seasoning. A squeeze of lemon juice will brighten the flavor.
Serve the broth chilled, with a dollop of sour cream and a scattering of chives.
(^Recipe reproduced with permission from Samarkand, Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & the Caucasus (Kyle Books, June 2016) by Caroline Eden, Eleanor Ford)
Pulled 'La Petite Paille' 2010 Cuvée Noir out of bale of wines at Swirl, a Yaletown store dedicated to selling British Columbia wines only and educating palates. Owner Jeff Wong was conducting a small in-store tasting while I was there.
My sister and I meet for a “light” supper in Soho about once a month and the evening generally follows the same pattern each time. We aim to eat somewhere vaguely healthy—as we’re more often than not pretending to be watching what we eat—and then we amble through the streets of Central London to our favorite gelato bar and undo all the good we did earlier. This recipe is inspired by a sorbet that I had on one such evening in late summer, the scoops piled high into a waffle cone and dripping sticky-sweet plum juices down my hands—the perfect end to an evening.
SERVES 6 TO 8
1 QUANTITY OF ROASTED PLUMS (SEE PAGE 128)
3/4 CUP GRANULATED SUGAR
FINE-MESH NYLON SIEVE (OPTIONAL)
Once the plums have roasted, let them cool, then scoop all the fruit and juice into a bowl, picking out and discarding the pits, vanilla bean pieces, and cinnamon stick as you do so. Blend the plums until smooth—I find this easiest using an immersion blender, but otherwise transfer to a food processor—and then pass through a fine-mesh nylon sieve if you want a silky smooth sorbet. I don’t mind the odd speckle of plum skin in the sorbet but it’s down to personal preference.
Pour 3/4 cup cold water into a saucepan and add the granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the roasted plum purée. Let cool, then cover and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before churning in the ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
An ice-cream maker will make a lighter sorbet, but if you don’t have one, simply freeze the mixture in a plastic freezer-safe container, whisking it every couple of hours to break up the ice crystals. Once the sorbet has frozen, break it into manageable chunks, transfer into a food processor, and blend until smooth and light. Return to the freezer container and freeze until firm.
( * Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Summer Berries and Autumn Fruits, 120 Sensational Sweet & Savory Recipes' --Kyle Books USA, May 2016 -by Annie Rigg, Photography by Tara Fisher)