Refreshingly Cool Beet and Cucumber Soup
The weather is sunny and gorgeous today and I think this will be just perfect with a light salad dressed with sherry vinegar and hazelnut and sprinkled with an aged Canadian cheese. Yum!
2 small beet bunches, with greens
water to cover
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 cups buttermilk
1 cup yogurt, kefir or sour cream
2 - 3 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup pickle juice
1/2 long English cucumber, 1/4" dice
1 bunch scallions, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
Cut greens from the beetroot and wash both well to remove any clinging dirt. Peel beets, quarter and thinly dice. Place in a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Add salt, partially cover and reduce heat. Simmer until the beets are just tender.
While the beets are simmering, finely shred the beet greens with their stems. When the beets are tender, stir the greens and sugar into the pot. Cover and turn off the heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Uncover and cool to room temperature, then chill thoroughly before proceeding. (This step can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, or frozen up to 1 month.)
In a large bowl, combine the beets, greens and cooking water with buttermilk, yogurt, lemon and pickle juice. Season with salt, cracked pepper, sugar or more lemon to get the right balance for your taste buds. Chill the soup for at least one hour before serving.
To serve, stir in the cucumbers, scallions and dill and taste one more time to adjust the seasoning. Serve in chilled bowls.
Serves 4 - 6