Scrub the beets, rub them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and put them on a sheet pan for roasting. Roast until the beets are tender, about 1 hour. Set aside. When the beets are cool enough to handle slip off their skins, and cut them into large chunks. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, add butter. Put in onions, carrots, garlic, apple and thyme sprigs and cook until softened and just starting to color, about 10 minutes. Add the beats cook until dry and deglaze with a dry red wine. Add chicken stock just to cover and reduce to a glaze and repeat the process three times. Add chicken stock and a touch of cream just enough to blend to a soup. Bring to a simmer. Remove the thyme sprigs and blend until smooth, add more stock if the puree is too thick. Add the banyuls vinegar and honey, to taste, season with salt and pepper. Borscht can be served hot or cold.
Roasted Beet Borscht
Pickled Beet Puree