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

cup cranberry juice yes!

1 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

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.