Wonderfully light and refreshing, Chlodnik is the ultimate Polish summer soup. Pronounced 'who-wad-neek', the key ingredients in this fabulous fuchsia soup are fresh young beets. Chlodnik is typically made with a selection of crunchy raw chopped vegetables such as cucumbers and spring onions, and flavoured with some chopped dill. The soup's brilliant magenta colour can vary depending on how much dairy is used, so for a crazy crimson Chlodnik, use a little less buttermilk. Smacznego! Bon appetit.
Chlodnik (Chilled Beet Soup)
1 bunch fresh red beets
1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch of spring onions
1 cup Greek yogurt
3 cups buttermilk
salt and pepper
Wash the beets, then wrap them individually in foil and roast at 450°F for 1 hour. Cool completely, then peel and dice the beets — use plastic gloves if you don't want crimson hands.
Finely dice the cucumbers and spring onion, then chop the dill. Combine the vegetables and beets in a large pot and mix gently. Add the yogurt and buttermilk and mix again, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Chill the soup for minimum 2 hours, but it tastes much better if left in the fridge overnight as it allows the flavours to meld and become more intense.
The soup can be served as is, a little chunky, or can be processed in a blender for a finer consistency. Serve cold with a dollop of sour cream a sprig of dill, and even some chopped hard boiled eggs for a traditional Polish Chlodnik.