Cool Beet & Cucumber Soup

A friend made this soup for me. It sounds a little involved, but not having been the chef, it definitely tasted worth the effort! Perfect for a hot summer day.

1 small beet bunch, with greens
water to cover
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 cups buttermilk
1 cup yogurt, kefir or sour cream
2-3 lemons juiced
1/4 cup pickle juice
lots of cracked pepper
1/2 long english cucumber 1/4″ dice
1 bunch scallions minced
1/4 cup minced fresh dill

1. Cut greens from the beetroot and wash both well to remove any dirt.

2. Peel beets, quarter and thinly slice. Place in a pot and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil, add salt, partially cover and reduce heat.

3. Simmer until the beets are just tender.

4. While the beets are simmering, finely shred the beet greens with their stems. Once the beets are tender, stir the greens and sugar into the pot. Cover and turn off the heat. Let stand 10 minutes.

5. Uncover and cool to room temperature, then chill thoroughly before proceeding. [This step can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, or frozen for 1 month.]

6. In a large bowl, combine the beets, greens and cooking water with buttermilk, yogurt, lemon and pickle juice.

7. Season with salt, cracked pepper, sugar or more lemon to taste.

8. Chill the soup at least one hour.

9. Add cucumbers, scallions, and dill and taste one more time to adjust the seasoning.

10. Serve in chilled bowls.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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