credit: moscowgourmetkitchen.comBorscht goes both ways, hot and cold. Seattle Free School hosts

credit: moscowgourmetkitchen.comBorscht goes both ways, hot and cold. Seattle Free School hosts a class offering instruction on this classic Russian soup, which might just be the perfect meal for our spring weather. Traditional recipes feature red beets and sour cream with a dill garnish, though variations abound, some with beef, others without. Instructor Irina Vodonos explained a bit more about her class via email: “I am going to demonstrate how to make two kinds of borscht, a hot version and a cold version. Both soups contain beets and potatoes, but beyond that, the ingredients are different and the resulting soups are very different as well. In most Russian families, hot borscht is made with meat; however, some people do make a vegetarian version, which is what I will be making. Cold borscht is always vegetarian. Actually, both soups can be vegan if you garnish them with non-dairy sour cream (or do not use sour cream at all) and if you don’t put chopped hard-cooked eggs in your cold borscht (they are a common topping for this soup). Hot borscht is eaten in Russia throughout the year but is especially good during cold weather. Cold borscht is eaten in the summer and seems to be particularly popular in the European part of Russia (my husband, who grew up in Eastern Siberia, had never heard of it until he met me). A bit about me: I am originally from Moscow, Russia, and operate a business here in Seattle called Moscow Gourmet Kitchen. I teach private Russian cooking classes and do personal cheffing for special occasions. My business is still fairly new (launched last summer) and I haven’t spent much time promoting it because of other commitments (I’m a full time grad student and also work a half-time non-cooking-related job).There are still plenty of spaces available in the class – the room sits over 50 people and currently about 30 are signed up to attend. I will distribute handouts with the two borscht recipes and a list of resources related to Russian food (including both online resources and a list of local Russian food stores).”Borscht, Two Ways: Cascade Peoples Center, 309 Pontius Ave. N., 437-3000.Saturday, March 20, 2-4 p.m. Free. Reservations required.