Chilled Cucumber-Beet Soup

By July 10, 2018

This easy, summery soup is savory and sweet all at once. Makes a perfect lunch for a hot day, or a make-ahead first course for a summer dinner party. Makes 8-10 cups, so for a smaller batch just halve the recipe. 

 3-4 small to medium beets
 2 cucumbers, chopped
 3 stalks celery (ideally with leaves), finely minced
 2-3 raw garlic cloves or scapes, roughly chopped
 2 green onions, white and light green parts only
 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
 1 cup yogurt (any plain variety, Greek or regular), kefir or buttermilk (or almond/cashew yogurt for vegan preparation.)
 1/2 cup high quality olive or other finishing oil (extra for garnish)
 3-4 ice cubes
 2 tsp fine grain sea or finishing salt
 Freshly ground pepper to taste as garnish
 Fresh minced herbs for garnish: tarragon, dill, marjoram, mint, parsley, chives, sorrel in some combination. (optional)
 Crumbled goat or feta cheese, garnish (optional)
1

Remove the beet greens and save for another recipe, and scrub beets well. Add to a small pot and cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the beets are tender and a knife slides right through (about 30-35 minutes). Save 2 cups of the cooking liquid, and allow to chill in fridge or freezer. Rub off and discard the skins of the beets, and chop into quarters.

2

Add all ingredients (except for garnish) to a high-powered blender, including 1.5 - 2 cups or so of the beet cooking water. Taste and adjust seasoning-- if it needs a little more brightness, add more vinegar, salt or lemon juice, but ours was perfect at this combination.

3

Refrigerate until very cold (ideally overnight.) Serve into small bowls, and add some minced fresh herbs* and a few droplets of oil and/or vinegar and some black pepper. Can also add seeds or nuts, avocado slices, feta or goat's cheese or minced onions as a garnish.

4

* speaking of herbs, go lightly. The flavor of this soup is really sweet and delicious, and a really powerful herb (like basil) can overwhelm it easily.

Ingredients

 3-4 small to medium beets
 2 cucumbers, chopped
 3 stalks celery (ideally with leaves), finely minced
 2-3 raw garlic cloves or scapes, roughly chopped
 2 green onions, white and light green parts only
 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
 1 cup yogurt (any plain variety, Greek or regular), kefir or buttermilk (or almond/cashew yogurt for vegan preparation.)
 1/2 cup high quality olive or other finishing oil (extra for garnish)
 3-4 ice cubes
 2 tsp fine grain sea or finishing salt
 Freshly ground pepper to taste as garnish
 Fresh minced herbs for garnish: tarragon, dill, marjoram, mint, parsley, chives, sorrel in some combination. (optional)
 Crumbled goat or feta cheese, garnish (optional)

Directions

1

Remove the beet greens and save for another recipe, and scrub beets well. Add to a small pot and cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the beets are tender and a knife slides right through (about 30-35 minutes). Save 2 cups of the cooking liquid, and allow to chill in fridge or freezer. Rub off and discard the skins of the beets, and chop into quarters.

2

Add all ingredients (except for garnish) to a high-powered blender, including 1.5 - 2 cups or so of the beet cooking water. Taste and adjust seasoning-- if it needs a little more brightness, add more vinegar, salt or lemon juice, but ours was perfect at this combination.

3

Refrigerate until very cold (ideally overnight.) Serve into small bowls, and add some minced fresh herbs* and a few droplets of oil and/or vinegar and some black pepper. Can also add seeds or nuts, avocado slices, feta or goat's cheese or minced onions as a garnish.

4

* speaking of herbs, go lightly. The flavor of this soup is really sweet and delicious, and a really powerful herb (like basil) can overwhelm it easily.

Chilled Cucumber-Beet Soup

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