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Cold Beetroot Soup (kind of Chlodnik or Холодник)

Cold Russian beet soup / Holodnik / Külm peedisupp

Although the tropical heat wave has given way to a beautiful Estonian summer (temperatures at around 25 C, with some
showers), it’s still warm here in Estonia. Perfect excuse for eating lots of cold summer soups. My cold soup repertoire isn’t huge, I must admit. I love Ximena’s gazpacho (and will be making it again and again in a week or so, when our tomatoes are ready). I also love this simple cold kefir soup with herbs and radishes. But radishes are finished for this year, so I needed a new cold soup recipe. The recipe here is slightly adapted from this Russian foodblog, and we loved both the flavour as well as the stunning colour. Our little daughter, who’s almost 1 year and 6 months now, heartily approved as well!!

I love roasting the beets, as this gives them an exceptionally sweet and earthy flavour. If you’re short for time, then this works with boiled (and even ready-grated and vacuum-packed) beets as well.

Cold Beet Soup with Kefir
(Külm peedisupp)
Serves four to six

Cold Russian beet soup / Holodnik / Külm peedisupp

3 small beets, each about the size of a tennis ball
2 short green cucumbers (”Lebanese cucumbers”)
handful of green onions, chopped
3-4 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 litre kefir
1 Tbsp grated horseradish
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2-4 eggs

Wash the beets, wrap in foil and roast in a 200 C oven for about 45 minutes, until cooked through (test for doneness by piercing with a sharp knife). Cool completely, then peel and grate coarsely.
Hard-boil the eggs, then cool under cold water. Peel and cut into half lengthwise.
Wash the cucumbers, cut into small dice.
Take a large bowl, throw in the grated beets. Stir in some of the kefir, then season the soup base with horseradish and some salt and pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients, except boiled eggs. Taste again for seasoning - you may want to add more salt or pepper, or perhaps even some lemon juice.
Serve very cold, topping each portion with a boiled egg half or two.

Keeps well in the fridge for a day or two.

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