My last post was about chłodnik, a delicious Polish summer time soup. This dish is great because it’s served cold and has minimal cooking time, solving the dilemma of “too hot to cook, but I still want tasty food.”
To make this recipe vegan, you’ll need a good quality vegan yogurt. As the original recipe uses the tang of yogurt and kefir, a good vegan yogurt is essential. Also, it must be unsweetened. In the Detroit area, I found the best choice is So Delicious’s Greek style plain almond yogurt. If you can’t track that one down, I would use any unsweetened soy yogurt. Be sure to check the ingredients list, as vegan yogurts often have added sugar.
In Poland, I went to Epi, cousin to Whole Foods and the Cadillac of grocery stores in Wroclaw. It has a great selection of vegan products, and I choose these two (I’ve used this brand of soy yogurt before.)
Often, this soup is served topped with chopped, hard boiled eggs. If you want to go for tradition with a twist, you can serve your chłodnik with chopped tofu. Also, if you save a few sprigs of fresh dill, they make nice things to top the soup with.
Chilled beetroot soup (vegan)
-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
-8 oz of unsweetened nondairy milk or cream
-10 oz of unsweetened nondairy 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, milk and yogurt. 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.