Traditional recipes

Beet, Orange, and Buttermilk Soup

Beet, Orange, and Buttermilk Soup

Beet and orange is a classic combination, but they can be almost cloyingly sweet together. It’s a wonderfully refreshing soup on a hot summer night.


  • 3-4 medium red beets (about 1 pound), trimmed
  • 2 Cups buttermilk
  • Juice from 2 large oranges
  • 2- 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill


Calories Per Serving130

Folate equivalent (total)119µg30%

Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg15.4%

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 cups diced peeled beets
  • olive oil, divided
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place the potatoes and beets into a baking dish, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil season with salt and black pepper.

Roast in the preheated oven until tender, about 1 hour allow to cool.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, and stir in the celery, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in the cooked vegetables, chicken broth, thyme, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Simmer until the celery is very tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove from heat, and discard the bay leaf. Puree the mixture in the pot with an immersion blender until very well blended stir in the milk and lemon juice to serve.

Recipe for cold beet and buttermilk soup

<i style=" font-weight: normal font-style: normal ">Cold beet and buttermilk soup</i> Sally Pasley Vargas for the Boston Globe

The dog days of summer are upon us, and in this refreshing Polish soup, tangy buttermilk, crunchy cucumbers, and sweet and sour pickled beets hit the spot when you crave something refreshing and don’t feel like making much of an effort. The soup turns from pale pink to deep fuchsia as the beets mingle with the buttermilk. Serve it with a slice or two of buttered rye bread and some cold roast chicken or a hunk of cheese. Stove not required.

½cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
1quart buttermilk
1unpeeled English cucumber, cut into small cubes
2(14 ounces each) cans sliced pickled beets, cut into small cubes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2sprigs of fresh dill, snipped with scissors (for garnish)
Thinly sliced radishes (for garnish)

1. Into a large bowl, spoon the sour cream. Gradually whisk in the buttermilk until the mixture is smooth.

2. Add the cucumber and beets to the bowl. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, stir, and taste. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Chill until cold in the refrigerator, or stir in a couple of ice cubes if you are in a hurry.

3. Ladle the cold soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the dill and radishes. Sally Pasley Vargas

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Beet Soup with Buttermilk and Marjoram

Preheat oven to 375°. Place baby beets, 3 marjoram sprigs, juice of one orange and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a baking dish. Cover roast until beets can be pierced easily with a knife, about 40 minutes. When cool, remove skins and cut beets in half. In a bowl, toss baby beets, pinches of salt and pepper, marjoram leaves, orange zest and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, chopped fennel, garlic, coriander, caraway, fennel seeds and remaining marjoram sprigs. Sauté until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Add cubed beets, pinches of salt and pepper and remaining orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and cool.

In a blender, puree soup in small batches until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours.

To serve, adjust seasoning of soup and ladle into cups. Garnish each with baby beets and a drizzle of buttermilk. Serve additional buttermilk on the side.

Orange-Tarragon Beet Soup

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Confession time! I don’t really like beets all that much. Gasp! I have learned though to enjoy them over the years, with a few new preparation techniques. Beets are yummy roasted with ginger and citrus and recently, I discovered that beet soup is quite delicious. It’s the velvety texture that won me over. I like to up the flavor ante on most dishes I prepare and despite the velvety smooth texture of this beet soup, I felt the natural beet flavor wasn’t enough. I did a little digging and discovered that my old go-to of beets + citrus, was even better as beets + citrus + tarragon. Wa-la! We’ve enjoyed this soup many times now in our house and I hope you’ll enjoy it in yours too. (BTW, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that giving beets a good try (even if you are like me and aren’t head over heels for them) is worth it…because beets are good for healthy sex hormones. You’re welcome.

Beautiful chilled beet soup

  • 600g/1.5 pounds/5-6 medium sized fresh beets, with stalks
  • 750ml cold water (or enough to cover the beets)
  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 300ml buttermilk
  • 150ml full-fat natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Fresh dill, or chives, finely chopped
  • ½ an English cucumber, peeled, very finely sliced
  • 4 radishes, very finely sliced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled

Wash the beetroot (including the stalks and leaves) very thoroughly. Chop the stalks into small pieces and peel the beetroot. Grate the beetroot (you may want to wear gloves!) and put the beetroot and stalks in a large pan. Cover with 750ml cold water. Bring to the boil slowly, then turn down the heat and very gently simmer for 20 minutes. It’s important that the soup doesn’t boil too rapidly.

Once the beetroot has softened, pour in the chicken or vegetable stock, add the sugar, stir well and leave to cool until completely cold. Refrigerate if necessary.

You can, if you like, slightly blend the soup at this stage with a stick blender. You’ll get a richer colour if you do.

To the cold soup, add the buttermilk and yoghurt and stir. Taste if the soup has quite a sweet flavour, add the lemon juice. Season with sea salt and a little black pepper.

To serve the soup, stir through some finely chopped fresh dill and garnish the soup with cucumber and radish. Traditionally this cold beetroot soup is also served with cooled, boiled eggs.

If, like me, you like the combination of beetroot and dill, you could go a step further and also try this vegetarian recipe for a buckwheat, beetroot and feta salad.

Beet and Orange Soup with Mint, Orange Zest, and Sour Cream

Whether smooth or somewhat chunky (it’s really a matter of taste), this soup is an appetite opener, a hunger salve, a fulfilling warmth for a small meal.

Cooking Method pressure cooking

Total Time under 30 minutes

Occasion Casual Dinner Party

Recipe Course appetizer, hot appetizer, main course

Dietary Consideration egg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipment food mill, food processor, pressure cooker

Taste and Texture creamy, fruity, savory


  • 3 medium-size beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1 medium-size yellow or white onion , quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 carrots , peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups water
  • Shredded fresh mint , for garnish
  • Slivered orange zest , for garnish
  • Sour cream , for garnish (optional)


Combine the beets, onion, carrots, orange juice, vinegar, bay leaf, and water in the pressure cooker and stir to mix. Lock on the lid and bring to pressure over high heat, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes to finish cooking.

With the steam vent pointed away from your face, gently release any remaining pressure. Lift out the beets with a slotted spoon and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel them. Remove and discard the bay leaf and set the pot aside.

For a smooth soup, mix the beets with the ingredients in the pot and purée them all together. You can use a food processor, puréeing in batches, or a food mill for a smoother purée.

For a chunky soup, cut the beets into ¼-inch dice. Add them to the pot with the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix.

When ready to serve, heat the soup until boiling. Ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish each with a pinch of shredded mint, 3 or 4 slivers of orange zest, and a small dollop of sour cream if you like. Serve piping hot.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 beets with leaves and stems - beets peeled and chopped, leaves sliced
  • water to cover
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 small cucumber, grated
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3 small green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint buttermilk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Cover beets with water in a pot and bring to a boil cook until tender about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chicken stock. Allow beets to cool.

Mix cucumber, egg, dill, and green onions in a bowl. Whisk buttermilk and sour cream until smooth in another bowl. Stir egg mixture and buttermilk mixture into cooled beets. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.