Chilled beet soup (Chłodnik)

 

Chilled beet soup.

Chilled beet soup.

Cooking in summer can be a dilemma. I want lunch, but I don’t want to be in a hot kitchen— and salads can get repetitive. A solution? Cold soup, full of fresh veggies and herbs, with a rich yogurt base.

Young beets and radishes...

Young beets and radishes…

While some chilled soups are more like glorified salsa (I’m looking at you, gazpacho) this pink soup is perfect for a summer day. With a base of yogurt and beets, and full of lovely summer herbs like chives, it’s a tangy, intensely flavorful soup. So, minimal time over a hot stove, and the yogurt and kefir makes it filling.

Fresh herbs.

Fresh herbs.

Like many traditional Polish soups, this cold beet soup has it’s own name— chłodnik. As “chłodny” means cool in Polish, and “-nik” is sometimes used for nicknames, to me, this soup name looks something like “little cool soup.” (Though I think it’s more Central/Eastern European than strictly Polish, as I first came across a description for this in in a Russian cookbook.)

How much of the leaves to use is up to you. (Sometimes, the ends of the leaves are a little tattered.)

How much of the leaves to use is up to you. (Sometimes, the ends of the leaves are a little tattered.)

And did I mention this soup is pink? I first had it in the sea side town of Sopot, in northern Poland near Gdansk. I’ve tried adding rice noodles and white beans to round it out as well, and while not traditional, the results were quite tasty. Also, I’ve seen this soup topped with hard boiled eggs at restaurants.

Chilled beet soup, Green Way.

Chilled beet soup, Green Way.

Ingredients

-1 bunch of young beets, with leaves and stems

-2 bunches of radishes

-4-5 medium cucumbers

-1/2 cup freshly chopped dill

-1/2 cup freshly chopped chives

-2-3 medium sized garlic cloves

-10 oz of kefir (300 g)

-10 oz of plain yogurt (300 g)

-salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cut the tops off the beets and set aside. Peel and grate the beets.

2. Chop the beet stems into small pieces.

3. Add the shredded beets and chopped stems to boiling water, then turn heat down to simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the beets are soft.

5. Put the pot into the fridge to cool.

6. While the soup is cooling, peel and shred both the cucumbers and radishes. Squeeze out excess juice from them.

7. Dice the dill and chives. Mince the garlic.

8. When the cooked beets have cooled, mix everything together: the radishes, cucumbers, herbs, yogurt and kefir. Stir everything thoroughly.

9. For best results, let the soup refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The flavors will be more pronounced the next day.

 

Chilled beet soup (Chłodnik)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

-1 bunch of young beets, with leaves and stems

-2 bunches of radishes

-4-5 medium cucumbers

-1/2 cup freshly chopped dill

-1/2 cup freshly chopped chives

-2-3 medium sized garlic cloves

-10 oz of kefir (300 g)

-10 oz of plain yogurt (300 g)

-salt and pepper, to taste

-3 cups water

 

1. Cut the tops off the beets and set aside. Peel and grate the beets.

2. Chop the beet stems into small pieces.

3. Add the shredded beets and chopped stems to boiling water, then turn heat down to simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the beets are soft.

5. Put the pot into the fridge to cool.

6. While the soup is cooling, peel and shred both the cucumbers and radishes. Squeeze out excess juice from them.

7. Dice the dill and chives. Mince the garlic.

8. When the cooked beets have cooled, mix everything together: the radishes, cucumbers, herbs, yogurt and kefir. Stir everything thoroughly.

9. For best results, let the soup refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The flavors will be more pronounced the next day.

 

 

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3 responses to “Chilled beet soup (Chłodnik)

  1. Pingback: Chilled beetroot soup (vegan) | V 8 Mile·

  2. Pingback: Beet kvass review | V 8 Mile·

  3. Pingback: Year in review: mushroom hunting, beet soup, and a trip to Ukraine | V 8 Mile·

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