From the menu of -- Nikolai's Roof

From the menu of . . . Nikolai’s Roof, 255 Courtland Street, Atlanta. 404-221-6362,

By C. W. Cameron For the AJC

Q. I went to Nikolai's Roof. One of their soup choices was beet borscht. It was divine. Would it be possible to get this recipe? Thank you.

Kristi Tornabene, Marietta

A. Beet borscht has been on the menu of Nikolai’s Roof since the opening of the restaurant over 30 years ago. It’s right in keeping with the French continental cuisine with Russian accents that is the hallmark of this landmark Atlanta restaurant. Chef de Cuisine Olivier de Busschere happily shared the recipe with our readers.

Nikolai’s Roof is located on the 30th floor of the downtown Hilton Atlanta. Guests dining high above the city enjoy their borscht garnished with blanched leeks, slices of smoked duck breast, dill crème fraiche and edible flowers.

Fresh beet juice may be the hardest ingredient for home cooks to come by. If you buy your beets at Whole Foods Market, they will juice them for you for free.

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you'd like to make at home? Tell us and we'll try to get it. We'll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can't answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to and put "From the menu of” and the name of the restaurant in the subject line.

Nikolai’s Roof Beet Borscht

Hands on: 30 minutes

Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Makes: 18 cups

2 tablespoons canola oil

5 red beets, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 pounds)

4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3/4 pound)

2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1/2 pound)

2 celeriac, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 pound)

18 ounces beef tenderloin, 1/2-inch dice

4 cups low-sodium beef broth

2 cups water

2 cups fresh red beet juice

Salt and pepper

In a large skillet, heat oil until very hot. Add beets and sear until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Move seared beets to a large saucepan off the heat. In the same skillet, sear carrots until lightly browned, about 4 minutes, and move to saucepan with the beets. Continue this step, searing onions, parsnips and celeriac separately until lightly browned, about 20 minutes total. As each is finished add it to the saucepan of seared vegetables.

In the same skillet, sear the tenderloin until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, and add it to the saucepan. Stir in beef broth and water and place saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Soup may be made ahead up to this point. When ready to serve, stir in beet juice, heat just until everything is warm and season to taste. Serve hot.

Per 1-cup serving: 123 calories (percent of calories from fat, 26), 10 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 15 milligrams cholesterol, 89 milligrams sodium.