Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, approx. 20-30 min.):
4 large beets (3 in. diameter), or two cans of whole plain beets, grated coarsely
3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
Remove beets and cool, then peel and grate coarsely and return to water.
1-2 T. lemon juice
2-3 T. sugar or honey
1-2 T. fresh dill, or 2 tsp. dried
1 medium shredded cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
2-3 finely minced scallions, both whites and greens
optional, 1 finely minced dill pickle
Stir in 2 cups buttermilk
Serve with a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream and or slices of egg or boiled potato if desired.