1 ½ to 1 ¾ pounds beets (about 6 beets), top trimmed and scrubbed
6 cucumbers (about 3 pounds) peeled and halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon corn oil
4 medium-size tart green apples, peeled, halved, cored and sliced into 1-inch pieces (about 1 ½ pounds)
- Preheat the oven to moderate (350°).
- Wrap each beet separately in aluminum foil. Arrange the wrapped beets on a baking sheet.
- Bake the beets in the preheated moderate oven (350°) for 30 to 45 minutes or until the beets are tender; a knife will pierce the beets easily when they are cooked through.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the aluminum foil. Peel the beets, coarsely chop them into 1 inch pieces and set them aside.
- Meanwhile, remove and discard the seeds from the cucumber halves, using a melon bailer or a small spoon. Set a colander over a large bowl or in the sink. Grate the cucumbers into the colander and sprinkle them with the coarse salt. Let the cucumbers drain for at least 30 minutes.
- Squeeze the drained cucumbers in a large piece of cheesecloth or a large dish towel to remove the excess liquid. Set the cucumbers aside.
- Heat the butter and the oil in a large saucepan. Add the apples and the scallions and sauté over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the apples and the scallions are very soft; do not brown. Pour in the vermouth and the sherry. Bring the mixture to boiling and remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Add the lettuce, beets and cucumbers. Pour in the stock or broth and season with the teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Refrigerate the mixture, covered, until cool.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in the container of a food processor or an electric blender until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the pureed soup to a 4 1/2-to 5-quart serving bowl (or 2 large bowls). Whisk in the sour cream. Refrigerate the soup, covered, until ready to serve.
Microwave Instructions (for a 650watt van’able power microwave oven)
Directions: Arrange the beets, without wrapping, in a single layer in a microwave-safe, 2-quart casserole dish. Pour in 2 tablespoons of water and cover the casserole dish with the lid. Microwave at full power for 12 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove the casserole dish from the microwave, uncover the dish and let it stand until the beets are cool enough to handle. Peel and coarsely chop the beets into 1-inch pieces. Continue the recipe from step 5 at left.
This recipe would give us 16 servings.