Friday, 26 February 2016

Chlodnik, cold beetroot soup

Dear all,

Beetroot is an amazing vegetable: Its wonderful purple colour always amazes me when I touch it. Beetroots deliver a wealth of nutrition, taste sweet and can be cooked with ease. I love beetroot, but I generally stick to the easy way of turning it into a salad.

The other day, I watched a TV show about Polish food. The chef turned beetroots into a cold soup with the strange name chlodnik.

I thought this is a brillant idea, a kind of Polish gazpacho. So I set out to look for a recipe. Unfortunately, there are plenty of vastly diverging recipes. I decided to simplify and to restrain from strange ingredients like the brining liquid of pickles.

Unfortunately, for the original chlodnik horseradish seems to be a rather important ingredient. I could not find horseradish in my supermarket. They even were out of wasabi, the Japanese variety used for sushi. So I added some spice by ground chillie powder.

Although it is simple, it is amazing how refreshing it tastes. The beautiful pink colour of chlodnik makes it a great dish for a buffet. It is also a great starter for a dinner party because it tastes best after a night in the fridge.

Chlodnik, Polish Gazpacho

Chlodnik ready
Ingredients (for 4 servings)
  • 3 beetroots (about 500 grams)
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 ½ cups stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups curd (yoghurt)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • salt
  • chillie powder
  • chives
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream


Peel the beetroot and the potato and cut into small pieces to reduce the cooking time. Place them into a pressure cooker. Add the stock – vegetable or chicken stock will do – and ½ tablespoon salt and cook for 10 minutes after the first whistle. You can also cook the vegetables in a normal pot until tender. Let the vegetables cool down.
beetroot and potato cubes
Peel the cucumber and the onion. Halve the cucumber and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
halved cucumbers
Place the cucumber and the onion into a blender.
beetroot and cucumber in blender
Add the cool beetroots and potato cubes and the cooking liquid. Blend until rather smooth.
blended beetroot soup
Add the curd, the chillie powder and the lemon juice and blend again.  Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. You can replace the lemon juice with vinegar.
chlodnik with curd
For serving, place the soup into bowls; add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chives. Some people prefer dill instead of chives, but it is difficult to find here in India. You can replace the sour cream with thick curd or cream cheese.