Cold Beet Soup (Chlodnik - Poland)


  • Large bunch of beet tops (stems and leaves)
  • 1 or 2 beet roots
  • 2 or 3 salted pickled gherkins - preferably Polish
  • Some of the pickle juice
  • Fresh cucumber, dill, onion, chives
  • Creme fraiche, sour cream or yogurt or a mixture of these
  • Concentrated veal stock
  • Cold fried veal chops or pork tenderloin, cut into small cubes (good, but optional)
  • Lemon


  1. The evening before you make the soup, grate a beet finely and leave it overnight in a bowl with a little water added.
  2. The next day, chop the beet tops, put them in a pot and pour 2 1/2 cups of boiling water over them. Allow it to come to a boil once more and take off the stove. Dice the cucumber and the pickles. Large or small cubes are a matter of preference. Squeeze the juice from the grated beet and pour juice in a pot. Set grated beet aside.
  3. Add pickle juice, creme fraiche and yogurt to pot. Add boiled beet, cucumber and pickles, and give it a stir. Add some of that veal stock, just enough to make a change in the taste. Add the cold meat if you wish. Season with freshly chopped dill, chives and very finely chopped or grated onion. Now, if you like the soup to have a bit more color, add some of the leftover grated beet, or better still, some freshly grated. Finally, salt, pepper and maybe a squeeze of a lemon wedge will bring it to perfection.
  4. Chill for a few hours before serving.

Serves 4 as a main dish.

A basket of good rye and/or crusty bread on the table is a must!

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