Chilled Golden Beet and Buttermilk Soup

, French
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The beauty of this quick, simple soup recipe is in its layers of bright and carefully balanced acidity. Golden beets, puréed with buttermilk and lemon juice, have a sweet, gentle twang; Erin French, a chef from Freedom, Me., takes things even further, garnishing each bowl with fresh herbs, finely chopped shallots macerated in rice wine vinegar, and dollops of sour cream. Serve this soup as a side or with crusty, garlic-rubbed grilled bread to make it a meal.


  • 1

    tablespoon finely chopped shallots

  • 1

    tablespoon rice wine vinegar

  • 2

    tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

  • Ground black pepper

  • 2 ½

    pounds golden beets (about 8 to 10 medium-size beets)

  • 1

    teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • 2

    cups buttermilk

  • ½

    lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • Small handful of basil leaves, for serving

  • Small handful of dill fronds, for serving

  • ⅓ to ½

    cup sour cream, for serving

  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

      237 calories; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 34 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams dietary fiber; 25 grams sugars; 8 grams protein; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 985 milligrams sodium

    • Note:

      The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
      Powered by Edamam


  1. In a small bowl, combine chopped shallots and vinegar and let macerate for 20 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with a few grinds of black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Put beets in a large pot over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover. Boil for 25 to 40 minutes, depending on size, until tender when poked with the tip of a knife. Drain beets and let cool, then peel off the skins with your fingers.
  3. Cut 1 beet into a small, even dice, then add to the shallot mixture, season with a pinch of salt (or to taste) and set aside. Cut the remaining beets into large chunks and purée in a blender with buttermilk and lemon juice until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until completely cool.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Serve with marinated beets, herbs and sour cream on the side, so people can garnish their own bowls as they like.
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