It always surprises me when people associate Borscht with Jewish grandmother cooking, because, for me, it was never like that. My borscht has always been cool and velvety with a dolop of sour cream, and I like it that way. I never understood the reason for potatoes and cabbage in a soup that is so beautifully and simply pink.

After finding beets at our farmer's market this morning, we created a delicious borscht based loosely on a recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I love this version because it calls for roasting the beets, which give them a distinctly sweet flavor. Also, the recipe is extremely basic: just beets, onions, broth and lemon juice. We swirled in yogurt instead of sour cream for an all-around healthy and vibrant soup.

approximately 3 lb. beets
1 onion, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
approximately 6 cups chicken broth
yogurt to garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350. Peel and halve the beets. Place in a roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until soft enough to pierce through easily with a fork. Let cool, then chop into small pieces. In a large pot, heat remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add onion, and cook for about three minutes until soft, then reduce heat and cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Add beets, and enough chicken broth to cover, about 6 cups. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about an additional 20 minutes. In batches, transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot, chill if you want, and serve with yogurt or sour cream.