Svekolnik, Cold Borsht, Hlodnik, Holodnik, Beetroot Okroshka etc., this summer soup has quite a few names and many variations all over Eastern Europe. The common denominator for all those diverse recipes is a combination of cooked or raw beets, raw cucumbers, and a sweet and sour taste of the soup that is achieved by the addition of lemon juice, vinegar and sugar.
This version of the soup is a kefir or buttermilk based with lemon juice, roasted beets, raw cucumber, scallions, garlic greens, herbs and hard boiled eggs. The roasted beet provides depth, flavor and the necessary sweetness just enough to omit extra sugar, kefir and lemon juice add the tartness, and we could stop at this point, but scallions, garlic fronds and hard boiled eggs transform svekolnik into a meal.
You could also add boiled potatoes and raw radishes. I didn’t add potatoes, to limit the carbs(roasted beet is loaded with natural sugars), and the taste of radishes is a bit harsh for my liking in this delicate version.
- 1 large beet roasted
- 3 hard boiled eggs shredded
- 2 kirby cucumbers shredded ( about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup scallions and/or garlic fronds chopped
- 1/8 cup parsley and dill chopped
- 2/3 quart kefir or buttermilk
- 1/4 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
- 1/3 quart cooled boiled water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- To roast the beets, preheat oven to 400F., clean the beets brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap in foil and roast for about 40 minutes. Let cool, and peel. (can be done up to a week ahead)
- Grate the beet, eggs, cucumbers and combine in a dish with herbs, and lemon juice.
- Mix kefir with water and adtad to the vegetables.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Done. I recomend to let stand ovenight in regrigerator for a deeper flavor to develop.