Add grated or julienned beets. Bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes if grated, and 7-8 minutes if julienned.
Turn the stove off. Add sugar and lemon juice.
Let the soup cool. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice if needed. The soup should be lightly tart and very lightly sweet. Beets are naturally sweet, but once in a while you get the odd ones and may feel that more sugar is needed. You should wait for the soup to cool before adjusting seasoning because flavors become brighter and more prominent as it cools.
Serve soup with garnish and sour cream added straight into the serving bowls.