Chilled Russian Vegetable Soup
This chilled soup — a mixture of chopped vegetables and beef (okroshka means minced in Russian) — offers a refreshing antidote to the heat of summer.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1⁄4" cubes
- 2 medium red potatoes (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1⁄4" cubes
- 16 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
- 3 large radishes, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1⁄4" cubes
- 1 (3⁄4-lb.) piece boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1⁄3" cubes
- 8 cups kvas (fermented rye drink) or sparkling cider, chilled
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add carrots and cook until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain and let cool. Put potatoes into a second small pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Combine carrots, potatoes, scallions, radishes, and cucumbers in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, put beef into a small pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until tender, 40-45 minutes. Drain and chill. Mix beef, kvas, dill, eggs, and salt to taste with vegetable mixture; stir well. Serve at once with rye bread, if you like.