This gorgeous summer soup is a real treat for fans of beets. I love them. Beets are wonderfully nutritious, full of vitamins like Folate, A and C, and rich in minerals like potassium and... manganese, all of which is very good news for those of us who have been through the cancer experience or are still actively in it. Despite knowing all this, I admit to being a relatively recent convert to beets. I turned my nose up at them until I was persuaded to try them when I first came to New York in my late 30’s. How tastes can change! It’s a love affair that’s lasted to this day. If you’re doubtful about beets, try sipping on this delicious Summer Borscht and take it from there.
Bring 6 cups of water and the beets to a boil. Simmer until the beets are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove the beets and strain the cooking liquid into a measuring cup. Let the beets and the cooking liquid cool.
Once the beets are cooled, peel and grate them. In a large bowl mix the grated beets with the shredded cucumber, chopped scallions, dill, yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar and salt and pepper. Pour in 1 cup of the beet cooking liquid, mix well, adding more liquid for a looser soup. Keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
If you want to make a vegan version of this gorgeous summer soup, substitute the yogurt with silken tofu. Put the tofu in a blender with the lemon juice, vinegar and ¼ cup of beet broth. Blend until smooth and thickly creamy. Mix with the other ingredients as per the recipe above.
Since the tofu doesn’t have the tartness of the yogurt to counteract the sweetness of the beets, you may want to add a little more vinegar or lemon juice to taste once you’ve mixed all of the soup ingredients together.