May 23, 2010
At some point, I was afraid that with this ongoing Icelandic volcano eruption we wouldn’t have summer at all, but it seems like there’s still not enough ash above Europe to deprive us of summer. This week has been really warm and we’ve been enjoying cold beverages, refreshing salads, frozen desserts, and cold soups. I still haven’t bought an ice-cream machine, but I’m determined to do so by mid-June. Then I’d probably need a book with ice-cream recipes – any suggestions are very welcome as I have just enough time to order one from Amazon (again, unless the volcanic ash doesn’t come between). Oh and speaking of the volcano eruption, when I first heard about that air service collapse that had happened due to the ash cloud spread, my first thought was: how will my boyfriend get here from London?? and my second was: oh my God if this continues for more than a week, how are they going to transport fruit and vegetables from overseas? Do you think I can now be considered a true foodie? :)
Anyway, this cold beetroot soup is quite a typical Eastern European soup; different variations of this soup exist in Polish, Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian cuisine. It’s healthy (as anything with beetroots is), attractive (as anything of pink colour is), and refreshing (as any cold soup is). You also have slices of fresh, crunchy cucumbers and radishes in it, and a pinch of spring onions, and little cubes of hardboiled egg. There’s a hint of sweetness and a hint of sourness in it, a bit of crunch and a bit of tenderness. There’s the vitality of fresh herbs, which you are free to experiment with. And of course there’s plenty of freshness in each bowl of cold beetroot soup.
250g canned shredded beetroots
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 short cucumbers
2 medium-sized potatoes, boiled
A bunch of fresh dills, lemon balm leaves, and spring onions
2 hardboiled eggs
4 tbsp thick sour cream
Salt to taste
Place canned beetroots into a saucepan with 500ml water, bring to a boil, season with salt and lemon juice. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Chill in the refrigerator.
Cut boiled potatoes and eggs into small squares; slice radishes and cucumbers; chop dill leaves and spring onions finely.
Ladle out the chilled beetroot soup and add a tablespoon of sour cream into each bowl. Alternatively, add sour cream to the soup before you ladle it, and stir until well-blended. Divide the vegetables and eggs in 4 parts and add them into each serving bowl.
Serve with sprigs of lemon balm.
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