This is an elegant version of borscht, a clear, rubyhued broth served chilled, rather than the heartier beet soups suited to the long winter months. If you have made Rye Bread Kvas (see page 177), try adding a splash to the finished soup.
Put the vegetables and aromatics into a large pan and cover with
5 cups of cold water. Season with the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 40 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, reserving the broth and discarding the vegetables (which will have lost their flavor). Let cool, then taste for seasoning. A squeeze of lemon juice will brighten the flavor.
Serve the broth chilled, with a dollop of sour cream and a scattering of chives.
(^Recipe reproduced with permission from Samarkand, Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & the Caucasus (Kyle Books, June 2016) by Caroline Eden, Eleanor Ford)