The cold beetroot soup, known as kholodnik, is a popular Eastern European dish that can be refreshing and full of flavor. It’s a versatile recipe, allowing for various ingredients to be swapped in or out based on personal preference or availability.
Kholodnik: Cold Beetroot Soup with Arugula
- Beet Kvass: About 1 week
- Soup: About 20 minutes
For Beet Kvass:
- 1-2 medium beets, cut into quarters or halves
- A few cloves of garlic
- A handful of fresh dill
- Black peppercorns
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- Optional: cumin, coriander, celery stalk or root
- A slice of Borodino bread (or any whole-grain bread)
- Warm water
For Soup (per portion):
- 30g boiled potatoes
- 30g radish
- 30g boiled veal
- Half a chicken egg
- 20g boiled carrots
- 30g fresh cucumber
- 5g white horseradish
- 10g French mustard
- Fresh dill, salt, and black pepper to taste
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt to taste
Preparing Beet Kvass:
- Take a 3-liter jar and place the quartered or halved beets in it until it’s about half full.
- Add garlic, dill, black peppercorns, salt, and sugar. You can also add cumin, coriander, and celery stalk or root if you like.
- Pour warm water over the ingredients, filling the jar.
- Place a slice of Borodino bread on top.
- Cover the jar with gauze and let it sit in a warm place for about a week. Foam should form on the top, indicating it’s fermenting correctly.
- After about a week, strain the kvass and store it in the refrigerator.
- Cut boiled potatoes, radish, boiled veal, boiled carrots, and fresh cucumber into small cubes.
- Halve a boiled chicken egg.
- Combine all the chopped ingredients in a bowl.
- Add white horseradish and French mustard to the mixture.
- Season with fresh dill, salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Add sour cream or Greek yogurt to taste.
- Finally, pour the prepared beet kvass over the ingredients.
- Mix well and serve chilled.
Enjoy your delicious, refreshing kholodnik! This dish is perfect for those lingering hot days, offering a cool, nutritious option that’s full of flavor. And remember, the quantities listed are more like guidelines; feel free to adjust them according to your personal preference or what you have available.