If you see someone eating Chlodnik, the color will get your attention. It’s a bright, vibrant pink from the combination of beets and dairy. The color isn’t one that you usually find in food, certainly not in savory.
Like Polish housewives everywhere, I tried my hand at this soup last summer, but I’ll be making this version from now on; it’s quick and easy, and ever so fresh tasting. Gosia not only shared her recipe, but she also invited several of us to her home for a day of traditional Polish cooking. Memories that I’ll always treasure.
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A colorful, healthy, cold soup for summer
- 4 or 5 young, tender beets, with tops if possible
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and grated
- 6 radishes, grated
- 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 2 green onions (white and green parts), chopped
- 4 cups plain yogurt
- 4 cups kefir or buttermilk
- 1 cup sour cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
- Prepare the beets by removing and dicing the stems up to the leaves
- Add the chopped stems to a large soup pot
- Peel and grate the remaining beet roots, add to the pan
- Add enough water just to cover the beets, add salt
- Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes
- Cool the beet mixture
- Add the cucumbers, radishes, dill, green onions, yogurt, kefir, and sour cream.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Chill and serve garnished with hard boiled egg
Now that I know the proper way to make this, I usually substitute two jars of grated beets for the whole beets, and simply combine all of the ingredients and chill – 10 minutes max prep time.