The Polish Soup Alton Brown Learned About From His Mother-In-Law

Food Network personality Alton Brown is a walking food encyclopedia. On his show, "Good Eats: Reloaded," Brown taught viewers the ins and outs of cooking while discussing the science behind everything he made. He's made everything from non-traditional tuna salad to green bean casserole. Brown co-hosts "Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend," where he expertly explains the food science of each chef's cooking. New York Times reporter Allen Salkin said about Brown, "I think he's the greatest genius that Food Network ever hired..."

Brown even hosts a live show where he entertains audience members with music, comedy, and cooking demonstrations (per Alton Brown Live). He performs some of his food science experiments and even brings lucky fans on stage to help him with his act. With his successful and knowledgeable career, it's hard to imagine there is something that exists that Brown hasn't cooked himself. While recording a video with his wife, he revealed a special dish his mother-in-law made for him. While he often creates a unique twist on his recipes, this is one recipe he dares not to mess with.

Mother in-law knows best

During a Q&A video on his Youtube channel, he and his wife, Elizabeth Ingram, made a Polish soup called chlodnik. It's a traditional, beet-based, cold soup that's a staple during Poland's hot and humid summers (Polish Housewife). They note they were first introduced to the dish by Ingram's mother, who is part Polish, and follow the photocopied version of her recipe throughout the clip. In addition to beets, the recipe calls for cucumber, carrot, green apple, sour cream, citric acid, dill, onion, and garlic.

During the video, Brown describes the dish as "absolutely delightful" and says that Ingram's mother has been making the soup for them for years. 

Chlodnik is actually the chilled version of another commonly known beet soup, borscht, according to Curious Cuisine. Borscht is popular in Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. The mix of fresh beets, dill, apple, cucumbers, and sour cream in chlodnik helps elevate the flavors and celebrate the freshness of summer ingredients (via Curious Cuisine).