Borscht

Borscht

Borscht
Eaten hot or cold, vegetarian or with shreds of beef, enriched with a dollop of sour cream and wisps of dill, this beet-based soup is the quintessence of good Eastern European cooking.Todd Coleman

When my parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to the U.S. in 1975, it didn't take them long to assimilate, something they were eager to do. Among our Russian friends, they were always the most "American," whether it came to their impressive command of English or the fresh, light way we ate at home. There were a few homeland favorites, however, that Mom kept in her repertoire. Perhaps the most beloved was borscht. Eaten hot or cold, vegetarian or with shreds of beef, enriched with a dollop of sour cream and wisps of dill, the beet-based soup is the quintessence of good Eastern European cooking. Hearty yet fine-tuned, dramatic in color yet humble in its ingredients, borscht, unlike my family, remains unapologetically Russian. —Gabriella Gershenson