Practical, healthful eating and living.

Ukrainian Gazpacho July 18, 2010

If you didn’t grow up eating Eastern European food, you might be skeptical of beets.  I find my self longing for them around this time of year.  Recommended for potassium and iron, beets are versatile and fairly easy to handle.  They may be roasted, grated raw into salads, or become the base of a comforting soup.  Every autumn, I set aside a special weekend just for making borscht.  In July, however, I look to beets to cool me down and restore nutrients lost to hot, steamy weather.

Here is a beautiful, 5-minute chilled soup that might become the first thing you reach for after an hour of Bikram yoga.


1 can of chopped or sliced beets (drained), or 2-3 chopped cooked beets (about 2 cups).

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 tablespoon minced scallions or chives

salt to taste

finely chopped cucumber (optional)

In a blender or food processor, combine the beets, apple juice and buttermilk.  Puree until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl or storage container and stir in the dill and scallions or chives.  At this point, if you have just returned, famished, from yoga, go ahead and have some!  Or, allow the soup to chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Add salt to taste and top with finely chopped cucumber (optional).

Anything with beets, I find, gets even better the second day.  Feel free to double this recipe in order to keep this on hand for quick snacks throughout the week.

From: “Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites” by The Moosewood Collective