Svekolnik: Cold Beet Soup
A COLD SOUP FOR HOT SUMMER DAYS
The main component of svekolnik is svekla, beet in Russian. True to stereotype, Russians use beets in much of their cooking, and for good reason. Beets are touted as the worldâ€™s healthiest food. These fortifying root vegetables contain compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers. They improve metabolism and digestion, as well as the production of hemoglobin. The ruby red color is due to the presence of betalains, which function both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules. Beet fiber is beneficial to the health of your digestive tract and cardiovascular system. Beet juice helps lower blood pressure. Beets are low in calories and high in vitamins. And it hasnâ€™t yet been proven, but some say eating beets will help you live forever.
1 Â¼ qt water
3 small young beets (appx 1 lb), cleaned
Â½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
8 oz bologna, optional
1 medium potato, boiled in skin and peeled
3 eggs, hardboiled and peeled
2 medium cucumbers
2 scallions, green parts, finely chopped
Handful dill, finely chopped
Sour cream, for topping
1. Put beets in a pot with water. Add salt, sugar and vinegar (vinegar preserves the beetsâ€™ bright red color). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 40 minutes.
2. Remove beets from the pot, reserving the broth. Put both aside to cool.
3. While the broth and beets are cooling, coarsely chop bologna, potato, eggs and cucumbers.
4. When the beets are cool, shred them using a grater with large holes.
5. Mix bologna, potato, eggs, cucumbers, scallions, dill and beets.
6. When the beet broth is cool, squeeze the lemon juice into it, add previously mixed ingredients and stir thoroughly.
7. Cool soup completely in the fridge before serving.
Serve with sour cream. Enjoy!