Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer Cold Soup - the Russian Style

Hello Y'all,

Hope you guys are doing well. Having all the ingredients readily available at home, I decided to whip up a cold beet soup that I grew up with, also called "Svekolnik". This is a cold summer soup that is made with seasonal veggies and fresh herbs.

There are many variations to this soup, but in my household, I make it with goat milk plain kefir (which is lactose friendly) and beet-infused water. While the color might suggest this soup to be beet-heavy, the rest of the ingredients bring balance where the beet brings color to this summery madness :)

This soup is very easy to make, so give it a try while the weather is still hot.

2 medium size meets, skin removed (make sure to save the water in which beets will be boiling)
4 eggs
4 small seedless cucumbers, finely chopped
2 medium sized potatoes (keep the skin)
2 cups of plain goat milk kefir
1/2 of the scallion bunch, chopped
1/4 cup of dill, chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp of horseradish (optional)
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp of salt
pepper to taste

Remove the skin from the beets, cut them in half, add to a medium size pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. The beets should be ready in about 20 minutes. You can check them by piercing the beets with the fork - if easily pierced, they are ready! :)
Add potatoes in skin and eggs to a second medium size pot, add water to cover everything and bring to a boil. After 15 minutes of boiling, remove the eggs and cool them down in the cold water, while letting the potatoes cook additional 10 minutes or so (check for readiness to make sure).

While the veggies are cooking, cut the cucumbers into small cubes and add them to a large bowl. By then, the eggs should have cooled down, dice 2 out of 4 eggs and add them to the bowl as well. When the beets are ready, grate and add to the rest of the veggies, while keeping the leftover beet water (very important and will come handy, trust me). When potatoes are cooked, remove the skins and cube them, and add them to the rest of the veggies. Add the chopped scallions and dill and you have your veggie bowl complete.

Grab the second bowl (make sure it will be large enough since you will be combining all the ingredients). Add 2 cups of kefir and 1 cup of beet water.

If you lost your beet water in the sink (it happens), add regular water. I just prefer beet since it is a little bit more flavorful, but not too strong of a flavor that it will ruin your soup.

Add the prepared veggies to your liquid mixture.

Add the lime juice and the horseradish and mix everything together. Season with salt and pepper and taste. Add more seasoning if you'd like.

Now, remember, you still have 2 more eggs left :) You want each bowl to have a sliced egg on top. I also chopped a slice of pancetta, fried it, and added it on top for extra crunchiness. This step, however, is optional.

Usually, we eat this soup with the side of boiled potatoes mixed with fresh dill (at least that's how we did it in Lithuania), but we also enjoy it with the avocado toast.

I hope you enjoy!


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