Cold beetroot soup or ‘svekolnik’, as the Russians and Slovaks call it, is a soup with a long history into the past. It has been enjoyed for centuries, and is still popular today. It is quick and easy to make. The recipe we have provided you (slightly tweaked from the original) is also beneficial for our health, as it contains an array of highly nutritious ingredients: fermented dairy (kefir), beetroot, fresh cucumbers and eggs. All the ingredients are completely natural. In this article, we go through each one-by-one and explain why they are good for our guts and bodies.
Kefir (fermented diary): Fermented products are great for your gut, as they contain friendly bacteria, that support digestion and help regulate our mood. The gut is connected to many other systems of our body, and it is known that when our gut is happy, we are happy too. Kefir is a fermented dairy drink, which originates from Eastern Europe and Russia, but is now widely available in the UK and US. The bacterial cultures in kefir are lacto-bacteria that feed on the lactose sugars in the milk. These bacteria then act as probiotics within our gut to support healthy digestion and bowel movement.
Beetroot: Eating a diversity of vegetables in our diet helps us get all required micronutrients, maintain a good fibre intake and support our immune systems with antioxidnats. Beetroot is a root vegetable that is particularly rich in folate (vitamin B9), vitamin C and the minerals manganese, potassium and iron. These each have multiple roles in the body’s systems functioning and are all required in abundance for a healthy life. In addition, beetroot gives a beautiful pink colour to svekolnik that is extremely pleasing to the eye.
Cucumbers: Cucumber is an amazing fruit (it is actually not a vegetable), because it helps us hydrate our bodies with the high water content, as well as the minerals and electrolytes in it. It is also high in antioxidants and contains fibre to aid healthy bowel movements.
Eggs: Eggs are powerhouses with a large number of nutrients. They are high in protein and healthy fats, that provide the body with essential amino acids and fatty acids, that we cannot function without. Eggs actually raise the levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol), and help maintain better cholesterol ratios of HDL to LDL, which is more important than total cholesterol.
Svekolnik is a great meal with a good balance of fats, carbohydrates and protein. This means that it will keep you full for longer and help you nourish your body in a wholesome manner. Try it out at home or make it for a dinner party to surprise your guests! It is the perfect meal for a hot summer day.