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Chlodnik, a simple chilled beet soup, is a summertime staple in Poland. It was our inspiration for this recipe, but instead of mixing sour cream or another creamy, tangy dairy product directly into the soup, we dollop it on as a garnish. Refrigerated cooked beets, found in the produce section of most grocery stores, and jarred pickled beets make the soup a breeze to prepare. We blend the beets with ice so it can be served right away (no chilling required), but it also can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a day before serving, and its flavor actually improves as it sits. If you don’t have ice on hand, add an additional ½ cup cold water to each batch of puree and chill the soup until cold. To keep the soup cold at the table, chill your bowls in the freezer briefly before ladling in the soup.
red radishes, cut into ¼-inch cubes
English cucumber, cut into ¼-inch cubes
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