Krakow, Poland – Every month, Kafkadesk brings you the best recipes from Central Europe, straight from the kitchen of our very own Chef Paulina Kotkowska. What’s on the menu today? Her famous Chłodnik, the Eastern “gazpacho”.
In Poland, soup is an integral part of the culture. You can find it in almost every meal.
Today, we would like to talk about the perfect summer soup: chłodnik! Originally from the Baltic states, it slowly made its way into Polish cuisine. Chlodnik, its Polish name, comes from chłodno, which means “cool” in Polish. It’s a cold soup, an Eastern gazpacho made out of beet – much more popular in Eastern Europe than tomatoes.
You certainly heard about the traditional beet soup borscht or barszcz, which is very well known in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Chłodnik, on the other hand, is a Polish and chilled variant.
This classic Polish soup is a mixture of beets, cucumbers and radish with kefir or yogurt. Fresh, light, creamy and gently crunchy, the result is a surprisingly refreshing and healthy soup with a splendid pink color!
You can find various recipes for this soup. Here’s my quick and easy-to-prepare version!
Yields: 4-5 servings
Preparation time: 45 min
- 1 cooked beetroot (about 500g)
- 1 cucumber
- 10 radishes
- 1 liter of fermented milk (kefir, buttermilk or natural yoghurt)
- 1 bunch of fresh dill
- 1 small bunch of chives
- ½ cup of beetroot juice
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- A squeeze of lemon
- Salt and pepper
1) Wash the radishes and cut them into thin slices. Peel and dice the cucumber. Grate the cooked beet.
2) Put all the ingredients together and add the fermented milk.
3) Chop the chives and dill before adding them in the soup.
4) Season the whole with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
5) Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.
6) Serve the soup garnished with halved hard boiled eggs and additional dill or chives, if desired.
It’s even better if you prepare it one day before and store it in the fridge overnight. It will leave enough time for its many delicious flavours to truly blossom.
If you don’t have any beetroot juice, you can save the juice while grating the beetroot and add them to the soup.
Enjoy your meal ! Smacznego!
Discover more of our delicious Central European recipes: Pierogi ruskie, the Polish delight; Lečo, the traditional tomato-based stew; Liptauer, the Slovak-Hungarian cheese spread; or Brynzové halušky, Slovakia’s natural treasure – as well as some special Central European meals for Easter and Christmas.
I love chłodnik — It’s truly a sign that winter is over and it’s a quintessential Summer taste in Poland. Thanks for the recipe.
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