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Pretty in Pink Week: Cold Summer Beet Soup


Due to market produce selection, it’s shaping up to be something of a pretty in pink week here in Wonderland. Beets…strawberries…grapefruit juice…purple potatoes (yeah, but close enough relations?). Even before I did the shopping, I was already gazing into the refrigerator to assess the inventory and dreaming in Pantones.

What I already had on hand due to the previous week’s cooking: three perfectly roasted beets; half a bottle of buttermilk; one cup of thick yogurt; one bunch of spring onions; a cucumber and some dill; plus a few remaining pickled ramps floating around in jar of brine that was so sweet and tangy and delicious it would be criminal to not put it to some use.

Cold Summer Beet Soup

I mention this because as soon as I saw the Šaltibarščiai soup recipe in Canning for a New Generation, I started in on the Googling and realized that I wouldn’t be able to make a soup a Lithuanian Bubby would recognize, but I might just come up with a tasty “inspired by” summer dish. Plan formed, I went to work with my knife.

Cold Summer Beet Soup
heavily inspired by Canning for a New Generation, internet research, and the contents of my refrigerator

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or kefir)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup strained or Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, seeded and diced into small cubes
2 large cooked beets, peeled and diced into small cubes
1 spring onion, finely sliced and chopped a few times
2-3 T sweet pickle brine or rice vinegar (to taste)
2 T dill, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
black pepper

Really, once you’ve completed the knife work required (as indicated above), you’re pretty much done. Reserve some of the beet and cucumber pieces for garnish, if desired. Place all remaining prepared ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.

Cold Summer Beet Soup

Soup can be made in advance and kept chilled. Flavors meld, but also be forewarned that the beets will continue to bleed into the broth. By dinner last night, Brian was a little freaked out by the “Barbie corvette” tone the evening’s soup course had taken on.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me


Ever since I first spotted spicy pickled green beans at the grocery store, I wanted them.

Once I saw the price tag of $8.99 a jar, I decided I’d wait and make them myself.

Until I found out this morning that pickled vegetables might kill me, I was really enjoying my results!

I did a simple quick pickle (what my favorite restaurant calls Kitchen Pickles) by slipping my young/fresh/slender green beans into the jars upright, tucking in a garlic clove and some of last year’s dried red peppers, plus some peppercorns, celery seeds, and dill springs for good measure. Then I brought my 2 cups water/2 cups vinegar/scant 1/4 kosher salt mixture to a boil and poured it over. Once the jars were cool to the touch, I popped them in the fridge. They are not preserved in the way proper canning would allow, but just a couple of days later, they were plenty good enough to eat.  I don’t think there is any danger they will spoil before we finish the jars.