(POSTED: August 17, 2004)

Chilled Beet and Buttermilk Soup

1 1/4 pounds medium beets, trimmed
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (or more) fresh orange juice
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Ground white pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 apple, peeled, diced (optional)

Cook beets in large pot of boiling water until very tender and knife pierces center easily, about 50 minutes. Drain beets; cool slightly. Peel and coarsely chop. Transfer beets to food processor. Add sour cream, 1/2 cup orange juice, vinegar and honey and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Pour into large bowl and whisk in buttermilk. Thin soup with more orange juice, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Garnish soup with diced apple, if desired, and serve.  Makes 6 first-course servings.

Source:  Bon Appétit

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