This variation of Borscht served cold, is fantastic in hot weather. The young beet tops, are tender enough for adding them to the borscht without blanching but if you like, just wilt them in a skillet covered with a lid for a few minutes. The lemon juice, yogurt and sour cream are preserving the green tops from changing their bright color and in the same time brighten the color of the borscht. You also can omit chicken stock and use only the beet cooking liquid or use buttermilk instead of yogurt. —Kukla
6 to 8
• 2 pounds young small or medium beets, scrubbed
• Fresh, bright green tops cut of and reserved, washed and thinly sliced
• 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
• 1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
• 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon coarse salt
• 3-4 Kosher Dill Pickles, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
• 2 extra large hard boiled eggs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Place beets in a medium saucepan, and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat add some salt and simmer until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove beets with a slotted spoon, reserving cooking liquid. Let beets cool, about 20 minutes. Strain cooking liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, and refrigerate, covered, until chilled, about 2 hours. Peel beets, and cut into 1/4-inch dice.
Whisk together stock, sour cream, yogurt, lemon juice, the salt, sugar and 1 1/2 cups cooled beet liquid in a large bowl. Stir in beets, pickles, eggs, scallions, beet tops and dill. Season with pepper.
Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours (or up to 1 day).
Serve cold with a dollop of sour cream.