Chilled Soup with Golden Beet and Buttermilk

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Carefully balanced acidity and its bright layers are the real beauty of this simple, quick recipe. Golden beets, puréed with lemon juice & buttermilk, have a gentle twang and sweetness. A chef from Freedom, Me., Erin French takes it a step further and garnishes each bowl with finely chopped shallots macerated in rice wine vinegar, fresh herbs, and finishes with dollops of sour cream. Serve alongside a crusty, garlic-rubbed toasted bread, or as a side to make a meal.


  • 1 tablespoon shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, and more for serving
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds golden beets (approx. 8 to 10 medium-size beets)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ½ lemon, juiced (approx. 1 tablespoon)
  • Small handful of basil leaves, for garnish
  • Small handful of dill fronds, for garnish
  • ⅓ to ½ cup sour cream, for serving

Nutritional Information

      • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)
        237 calories; 8 grams fat; 8 grams protein; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 1 gram saturated fat;34 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams dietary fiber; 25 grams sugars;; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 985 milligrams sodium


The information shown is only an estimate based on the available ingredients and specified preparation. This should not take the place of a professional nutritionist’s advice.


  1. Combine chopped shallots and vinegar in a small bowl, and allow to macerate for 20 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with black pepper before setting aside.
  2. Place beets in a large pot over medium heat, and enough water to cover, and add a teaspoon of salt. Boil for 25-40 minutes (dependent on size) until tender when poked with a knife tip. Drain, allow to cool, then use fingers to peel off skins.
  3. Take one beet and cut it into a small, even dice – add to the shallot mixture, season with salt to taste, then set aside. Cut remaining beets into large chunks, then purée in a blender with lemon juice & buttermilk until smooth. Season with salt & pepper to taste, then refrigerate for 1 hour or until it’s completely cool.
  4. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve marinated beets, sour cream and herbs on the side, allowing people to garnish their bowls as desired.