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Packed with fresh summer herbs, this chilled beet soup is bright, earthy, and doesn't require turning on your stove. Grated beets are quickly marinated in a pickle juice brine to mellow their earthiness before they are stirred together with grated cucumber and buttermilk for a crisp, cooling bite. The topping of quartered hard-cooked eggs, generous dollops of sour cream, and fresh herbs add textural interest, color, and heft as they help make each bowl a satisfying meal.

August 2022


Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Recipe Summary

10 mins
2 hrs 40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Using large holes of a box grater, grate beets into a large bowl. Add pickle juice, sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt; toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until flavors meld, about 30 minutes.

  • Using large holes of a box grater, grate cucumber into beet mixture in bowl. Add 1 cup cold water, scallions, dill, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt; gently stir until mixture is combined. Add buttermilk in 2 additions, gently stirring and folding until soup turns fuchsia and is evenly colored. Stir in additional salt and pepper to taste. (The soup should be assertively seasoned.) 

  • Refrigerate soup, covered, until very cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Serve topped with hard-cooked eggs, sour cream, chopped fresh herbs, and additional scallions and dill.

Make Ahead

Soup can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Use whole-fat buttermilk for extra richness. Look for pre-cooked beets in the refrigerated produce section. Rub cooked beets with a paper towel to easily remove their skins.

Suggested Pairing

Light, fruity red: Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages