2 lbs (1 kg) raw beets
A little salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
6 peeled boiled potatoes (optional)
1 cup (250 ml) sour cream to pass around
Peel the beets and dice them. If they are young, that is easy to do. If they are old and too hard to dice, simply cut them in half and, when they have softened with boiling, lift them out, cut them up, and put them back in the pan. Put the beets in a pan with 9 cups (2 liters) of water and salt and pepper and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
Let the soup cool, then chill, covered, in the refrigerator. Add the lemon and sugar to taste before serving (these could be added when the soup is hot, but it is more difficult to determine the intensity of the flavoring). Remove some of the beet pieces with a slotted spoon if it seems like there are too many of them and keep them for a salad.
Serve, if you like, with a boiled potato, putting one in each plate. Pass around the sour cream for all to help themselves