Try serving this chilled soup as a first course instead of salad. The mild earthy flavor of the beets pairs nicely with the tangy citrus flavors of the orange and lemon juices. A dollop of sour cream on top and a sprinkling of fresh dill bring more distinctive flavors to the mix that blend beautifully but still retain their individuality.
Chilled Citrus Beet Soup
- 3 pounds beets, washed and trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sour cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the beets. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and allow them to cool enough to handle. Peel and cut them into chunks and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add the onion, salt and pepper to taste and cook until tender and barely golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer.
- Put the onion mixture and the beets in a blender. Add 2-1/2 cups of the vegetable stock and puree until smooth. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Add more stock if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Chill the soup thoroughly – several hours is best. Before serving, ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Garnish each with about 2 teaspoons of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh chopped dill.