Chłodnik, or Cold Beet Summer Soup from Poland

August 14, 2014
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Beet is your best friend! In Poland that is. Beets are served as hot borscht, warm side sadad and cold summer soup. From June through August, 'chłodnik", or cold beet soup was an frequent item on our menu. My parent cultivated a small, sustainable garden outside of Warsaw, where potatoes and beets took a prominent place in our veggie basket. The best cold beet soup is made of smaller plants, with soft leaves ans medium size beetroot. It takes longer to chill and to cook this soup. You can make more and serve the next day. It tastes best with boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and grilled crawfish. —marta_madigan

What You'll Need
  • 1 bunch beets (4 medium beets with tops), cooked
  • 2 cucumbers (medium size), diced
  • 6 radishes (big), shredded
  • 32 ounces plain yogurt or kefir or buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chives or spring onion, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, thinly chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, fresh squeezed juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  1. Peel beet roots and cover them with boiling water. Cook for about 15 minutes (when young and small) then add chopped beet stems and leaves. Choose only small and healthy looking leaves. Cook for another 15 minutes. You could shorten the time of cooking if you grate the beet roots first. Then you can cook roots and tops at once. Once beets are soft put the pot away and cool it down. Add honey and lemon juice (1/4 of lemon to 1/2 lemon depending if your yogurt is sour or not).
  2. In the meantime grate radishes and cucumbers (you may chop them if you prefer a more crunchy soup). Either way get rid of seeds. Chop all fresh herbs: dill, chives and parsley. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Now take beet roots and grate them. Add them together with cooked beet stems and leaves to other vegetables. Make sure the liquid is not hot.
  4. Combine it with yogurt and cream and the remaining ingredients. Add salt, pepper and lemon to adjust the taste. Chill in refrigerator for at least a couple of hours. It is the best the next day!
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