No Polish meal is complete without soup. Although hot soup is served in the summer in most traditional households, this refreshing alternative combines favorite ingredients like beets and dill for a chilly first course. This recipe for cold borscht, adapted from Treasured Polish Recipes for Americans (Polanie, $10.95) is a streamlined version of Polish chlodnik, a chilled beet soup traditionally eaten with boiled potatoes in the heat of the summer.
2 cups cooked beets, roughly chopped or 2 15-ounce cans beets, drained
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and rough chopped
1 cup sour cream or plain yoghurt
4 cups buttermilk
10 sprigs of fresh dill
1/2 cup scallions, rough chopped
salt to taste
fresh squeezed lemon juice, to adjust acidity
2 tablespoons dill, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Puree beets, cucumbers, sour cream, buttermilk, sprigs of dill and scallions in a food processor until well blended and smooth. Taste and add salt and lemon juice – the soup should be slightly acidic.
Chill well. When ready to serve, garnish each bowl with fresh dill and a little chopped hard boiled egg.