September 27, 2016
Fall has made its appearance! Temperatures are lower and the leaves are just beginning to turn colors. Time for some hearty foods. The root vegetables are starting to come in.
This recipe is one from my childhood. My grandmother served it on late summer and early fall afternoons. It’s a cold soup, popular at Jewish resorts in the Catskill Mountains, that is served with a hot potato in the middle of the bowl. Delicious!
5 medium fresh beets (about 2 lbs, without tops)
2 cups chicken stock
1 pint sour cream, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups English cucumber, peeled and seeded, then diced
1/2 cup chopped scallions, both white and green parts
2 TBS chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
Small white potatoes
1. Put the beets in a pot of boiling salted water. Cook uncovered for 30 – 40 minutes, until the beets are tender. Remove the beets and allow to cool. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine strainer and cool.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the beet cooking liquid, the chicken stock, sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, and the pepper.
3.Peel the cooled beets with a small paring knife or rub the skins off with your hands. Dice the beets or cut in matchsticks.
4. Add the beets, cucumber, scallions, and dill to the bowl of soup. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. While the soup is chilling, peel the potatoes and boil until tender. Either keep them hot or reheat in the microwave just before serving time.
5. Season to taste, and serve cold with a dollop of sour cream and an extra sprig of fresh dill. Just before serving, add a hot boiled potato to the middle of each serving.
I hope you love this soup as much as I do. I just had some in St. Petersburg, Russia. Heavenly!
Have a delicious week!