1 can (20 oz) whole beets with liquid or 2 cups cooked fresh beets, plus 1 cup of the liquid
in which they were cooked
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
½ cup cranberry juice – yes!
1 ½ tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar – more if juice is the unsweetened, health-food store kind
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
1 large, red ripe tomato, unpeeled, cut into small dice
¼ small red onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 greed bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 scant tablespoon dried
Sour cream, kefir chees, or yogurt, for garnish (optional)
Dill sprigs, for garnish (optional)
1. In a food processor, combine all the beet juice and half of the beets with the buttermilk, yogurt, stock, cranberry juice, vinegar, sugar, cayenne, and salt. Buzz until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Dice the remaining beets, and stir them into the soup mixture. Stir in the remaining vegetables and the dill. Chill deeply, for at least 4 hours. Serve, ideally in iced glass cups, garnished with a dollop of sour cream or other dairy choice and a sprig of dill.
Serves 4 as a starter.