This could be considered Poland’s version of gazpacho. In a cuisine that doesn’t fear fried pork chops, lard, and potatoes, its freshness is a welcome change. Chlodnik (pronounced hwahd-nihk), meaning “a little cold something” or “the cooler,” is a stunning magenta, flecked with crunchy vegetables and pickles, with a swirl of sour cream. Though pickles in soup might sound strange, they add a bright flavor. This dish was a family mainstay when I was growing up, enjoyed on many hot summer afternoons in our backyard in Montreal.
- In a bowl, whisk together the borscht concentrate, broth, and half of the sour cream until smooth. Add ½ cup ice cubes and refrigerate, covered, for a couple of hours, until cold. (The soup base can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated.)
- Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower the eggs into the water, taking care not to drop them into the pan. Cook for exactly 10 minutes, then transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and let cool for about 5 minutes. Drain the eggs and refrigerate, covered, until you’re ready to serve the soup. (The shell-on eggs can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
- To assemble the soup: Peel the eggs and quarter or halve each one. Toss together the cucumber and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
- Divide the pickles, cucumbers, and half of the dill among four soup bowls. Ladle the chilled soup into the bowls. Top with the eggs, radishes, chives or scallions, and the remaining dill and sour cream. Serve immediately.
Excerpted from ANTONI IN THE KITCHEN © 2019 by Antoni Porowski. Photography © 2019 by Paul Brissman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.