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Cool and Tangy Rhubarb-Beet Borscht

The brilliant magenta of this soup will make you swoon. Serve as an appetite-awakening first course or for a lovely light lunch, accompanied by an assortment of rye crackers and a crisp green salad. Look for lebni, or kefir cheese, at a Middle Eastern market.

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: 

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1 ¼ lb. beets, stems trimmed and well scrubbed
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8 oz. (about 2 cups) fresh rhubarb, trimmed, cleaned and diced
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1 small English cucumber, cut into chunks
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½ cup or full-fat plain yogurt plus additional for topping soup

Instructions: 

  1. Put beets in a large saucepan, and cover with water. Put a lid on pan, and cook beets over medium heat until completely tender, for about 18 minutes. Drain beets, reserving cooking water.
  2. Put rhubarb into a saucepan, and add 1/2 cup cooking water from beets. Cover, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is very tender. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
  3. When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off skins, and cut beets into chunks. Put beets, cucumber, rhubarb, lebni and 3/4 cup cooking water from beets into food processor, and pur8Ee until very smooth.
  4. Transfer soup to a large bowl, and add more beet cooking liquid if desired to thin soup. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, and top with spoonfuls of lebni and a sprinkling of red onion, if desired.

Wine Suggestions
Pairing wines with tart rhubarb is hard, but this tangy soup calls for a lush white wine such as the Domaines Schlumberger Riesling from the Alsatian region in France.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories: 
150
Protein: 
4 g
Total Fat: 
8 g
Saturated Fat: 
4 g
Carbohydrates: 
17 g
Cholesterol: 
25 mg
Sodium: 
135 mg
Fiber: 
4 g
Sugar: 
12 g
Yield: 
Serves 4