Cold Summer Soup – Hanka Sawka

Serves 8

A traditional soup in Poland and Lithuania, this soup is refreshing on a hot day, and loaded with vitamins.

  • 4 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4-5 small to medium beets (with stems and leaves), washed and finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 brine (not vinegar) pickles, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers (use 4 if you do not have the brine pickles), chopped and seeded
  • 1 small bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6-10 chopped red radishes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 8 hardboiled eggs, chopped

Pour the stock into a large pot; add the beet roots, stems, and leaves and cook over medium heat until the beets are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Add the buttermilk and stir. Add the pickles, cucumber, scallions, parsley, radishes, dill and more salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon).

Cover the soup and chill it in the refrigerator for at least several hours before serving (overnight is best).

Serve with 1 chopped egg per bowl.