Got a Blender? Make this Cold Soup!

Chilled Beet, Fennel, Kefir SoupChilled Soup Bliss

Beet, Fennel, Kefir, Sour Cream
Horseradish, Lemon, Garlic, Dijon Mustard

You can chug this chilled soup from a tumbler and be in heaven, but ladle it into cold shallow bowls and garnish with some fantastic accompaniments, and it will be one of the most extraordinary hot weather soups you’ll serve this summer.

It is garnished with a dizzying array of chopped hard boiled egg, a kefir drizzle, radish, sliced pickles, lemon, chives, and fennel fronds.

The best part is the mind-blowing complex flavors with tangy notes from the kefir, earthiness from beets, hints of anise from fennel, a pungent kick from the Dijon mustard and a peppery kick from the horseradish.

The second best part is how easy it is to make. Combine the soup ingredients in a blender until smooth, chill until nice and cold – and there you have a perfect summer soup… simple and easy enough to enjoy for lunch today or with jazzy garnishes that make it elegant enough to serve at your next al fresco dinner party.

This recipe was inspired by the famous Eastern European Cold Beet Soup called Holodnik. I add fennel, Dijon mustard, garlic, and prepared horseradish to the traditional ingredients for a more spicy and complex flavor profile. Chopped bread & butter pickles replace the usual cucumber to add sweet and sour elements.

Chilled Beet, Fennel, Kefir Soup Recipe

Cold Russian Beet Soup aka Holodnik


  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 1/2 c. plain kefir (my favorite Lifeway 1%)
  • 1 c. sour cream (low-fat if desired)
  • 1 1/2 t. dijon mustard
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • several grinds of white pepper
  • 3/4 lb. steamed and peeled beets*
  • 1/4 lb. fresh fennel
  • 1 1/2 t. prepared horseradish

*Roasting fresh beets is the best way to enjoy them, however buying already steamed and peeled beets for this soup works just fine, and saves several steps in the preparation.

Chilled Beet Soup


Place all ingredients in a high powered blender in the order listed. Blend until completely smooth. Taste for seasoning. Chill soup in the blender container for 2 to 3 hours.


  • kefir – a small amount in a squeeze bottle
  • hard boiled eggs – chopped
  • radish – sliced thin
  • bread and butter pickles – chopped
  • chives – chopped
  • fennel fronds

Cold Russian Beet Soup aka Holodnik

To Serve:

Briefly buzz the soup in the blender again to make sure it is completely combined. Pour into well-chilled shallow soup bowls.

Squeeze circles of kefir over the soup.  Top generously with remaining garnishes.

About Kefir

I have been a fan of Lifeway Kefir for years. Lifeway Kefir is a tart and tangy cultured dairy drink packed with protein, calcium, and 12 live and active probiotic cultures. It is surprisingly rich and creamy with only 1% milk fat.

It makes an awesome healthy chilled soup. In fact, this recipe template can be used to make many chilled soups such as my Chilled Kefir Soup with Cucumber and Herbs.


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