This chilled vegetarian soup is very popular during summer months in Poland. As it’s summer and we are expecting a heat wave here in the UK any day now (:O) I thought I’d introduce this delicious refreshing soup on my blog.
I usually make ‘healthy’ adjustments to traditional Polish recipes but this soup is very nutritious and simply perfect the way it’s always been prepared.
What I love most about chlodnik, apart from the taste, is that it uses both the beet roots AND the greens (which are very underrated despite being full of goodness and flavour). So nothing gets wasted! Another great thing about this soup is the fact that once it reaches boiling point the heat is turned off so the vegetables retain maximum nutritional value.
Making this soup involved a visit to Unicorn, a vegetarian grocery shop in Manchester (the only place I know where beet greens don’t get chopped off), which is a treat in itself, as it stocks a large variety of organic locally sourced fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs and lots of fabulous hard to come by products.
This soup requires a bit of chopping and grating but is very easy to make. All you do is bring the beets and greens to the boil, turn off the heat, allow to cool and combine with the other ingredients. It’s that simple!
So without further ado I give you chlodnik.
2 medium beets with greens
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 and 2/3 cup water
750 ml natural yogurt
2-3 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
10 radishes, coarsely grated
Cucumber (15 cm long), peeled, coarsely grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus plenty of pepper
Serve with hard boiled eggs (optional)
Peel the beets and grate (coarsely). Finely chop the greens (with stems). Place all in a large pot, add the water, 1 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, cover and bring to boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Once the beet mixture has cooled add the remaining ingredients, including the salt and a generous amount of pepper and stir thoroughly. For best results leave in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Yields 6-8 portions.