This is a family recipe from Ramona Koval's book Jewish Cooking, Jewish Cooks. It can be served either hot in winter or as a refreshing cold soup in summer. It is made with water, although you can use either water or chicken stock to cook the beetroots (to be kosher, if you’re using stock don’t serve the soup with sour cream or yoghurt).






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (110 votes)


  • 1 kg beetroot, topped, tailed and peeled
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 litres chicken stock or water 
  • 3 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large bunch dill, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra 750–1000 ml water
  • 6 boiled potatoes, if serving the soup hot
  • sour cream or yoghurt (about 1 dessertspoonful per person)

Cook's notes

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.


Place the beetroot in a large saucepan. Add half the lemon juice and the stock or water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Cook for 40 minutes, until the beetroot is soft when pierced with a knife.

Drain the beetroot and cut into small pieces. Return to the empty saucepan and add the potato, onion, dill (reserve a little for garnish), sugar, salt and remaining lemon juice. Season with pepper and add the water. Cover and bring to the boil then simmer for 20–30 minutes.

Puree the soup. Serve either steaming hot with a boiled potato added to each bowl, or chilled and icy cold. Top each serve with a spoonful of sour cream or yoghurt and a sprinkling of dill.