Vibrantly coloured chlodnik is a popular summer dish in Poland. The warm version of beetroot soup is called barszcz.
- 300 g (3 medium) beetroot, trimmed
- 100 g (1 medium) brushed potato
- 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
- 1 small Lebanese cucumber, coarsely chopped
- 2 small French shallots, coarsely chopped
- 250 g natural yoghurt
- ½ lemon, juiced, or to taste
- salt and white pepper, to season
- 60 g crème fraîche
- 1½ tbsp very finely chopped chives
- 1–2 cm piece fresh horseradish (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Using gloves, peel and chop the beetroot and place in a saucepan. Peel and chop the potatoes and add to pan. Add the stock. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20–25 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat, cool, then refrigerate until chilled.
Place the beetroot mixture in a blender. Add the cucumber, French shallot and yoghurt. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Ladle into bowls, top with a dollop of crème frâiche and chives, then finely grate over a little fresh horseradish.
• If you can’t find fresh horseradish, use Eksal or Krakus brands of preserved horseradish, which are available in the international or kosher section of your supermarket, or at any Polish or Russian deli. Blend the preserved horseradish with the beetroot and potato.