With a base of sweet beets and whole organic milk, no added sugar is necessary in this vibrant, refreshing soup. Aged balsamic brings brightness and acidity, while smooth mascarpone adds extra body and richness. —Judy Haubert
beets (about 4 medium), trimmed, peeled, and diced in 1/2-inch pieces
whole organic dairy milk, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
mascarpone, plus more for serving (optional)
good-quality aged balsamic vinegar, plus more for serving
Combine beets and milk in a medium saucepan with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, keeping an eye on the pan to make sure the milk doesn’t boil over, and cook until the beets are tender and the milk is slightly reduced, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool 30 minutes or to room temperature.
Meanwhile, whisk the mascarpone and balsamic in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
Working in batches, purée the soup until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on and discarding the solids. Slowly whisk 1/2 cup of soup into the mascarpone-balsamic mixture until smooth. Whisk this mixture back into the rest of the beet soup until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Stir well and thin with additional milk to your desired consistency, if needed. Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with a dollop of mascarpone and a drizzle of balsamic.