Summer Young Beets Soup (Botwinka)
This is not the typical Borscht soup that you might have heard of before. This is a lighter, summer version that traditionally is eaten cold. What makes it so delicious is the green beetroots’ leaves and the red stems that you add to the soup alongside the young beet bulbs. When I was a kid my mother would make it a lot during the summer time, as these were the times of pre-supermarkets days, and you could easily get them at any farmers market stall. ‘Botwinka’ is the original name of the green parts of the beets and the soup itself; unfortunately there is no translation into English so we’re stuck with the long name for this super easy soup.
Equipment: large soup saucepan
Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 15 min
- 750g beetroots including the stalks & leaves
- 1 large cucumber
- 200g radish
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tbs. vegetable bouillon
- 4-6 tbsp. natural soya yogurt*
- Freshly ground pepper
- Large handful of fresh dill to garnish
1. Wash the beets, stems and leaves. Peel the beets and then grate them fairly coarsely (I use a food processor/Thermomix for ease). Roughly chop the stalks and leaves.
2. Place the grated beetroot bulbs in a large soup saucepan and pour over it 1 litre of boiling water. Add vegetable bouillon and bring to boil. Add the beetroot stalks & leaves and garlic, turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Peel and chop the cucumber, finally slice the radish and add all to the soup. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Combine the yogurt with the lemon juice and then add it to the soup. Gently stir it in.
5. Ground a generous amount of black pepper on top and serve with chopped fresh dill.
*Traditionally my Mum would serve this soup clear (without any yogurt) but I like to ‘whiten’ it with a touch of yogurt. Just be careful when adding soya yogurt, I personally prefer to add less as the soya taste can overpower the beetroot and you’ll end up with soya soup ;)