Cold Beet Soup

(Lithuanian Recipe)

This is a basic recipe for saltibarsciai, cold beet soup, or borscht, that is traditional for Lithuanian cuisine. Proportions, and the ingredients, can vary depending on the cook, or a cookbook.

Preparation time: 15 min


  • 2 cooked beets, roughly grated
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 4 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of finely chopped shallots, or scallions
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 8 sprigs of fresh dill
  1. Finely chop the hard-boiled egg yolks and mix with the shallots and a pinch of salt.
  2. Slice or grate the cucumber very finely and mix it with the sour cream, the buttermilk, the beets and the water. Add this to egg mixture and stir well. Garnish with finely chopped dill.
  3. Serve the cold soup with boiled potatoes and melted butter on the side.
4 to 6 servings

Try these variations:

  • This soup is traditionally made with kefir rather than buttermilk and sour cream. The taste will be different if using one or the other. You can get unflavored kefir in supermarkets and international food stores.
  • Mix kefir with the beet liquid instead of water.
  • Cook beet greens along with beets.
  • Add a little vinegar or lemon juice to taste, if desired.
  • Boil potatoes with the skin on, even the day before, peel them when cool enough to handle, and brown in the skillet slightly with a little bit of butter and a sprinkle of dill. Serve hot potatoes with an ice-cold beet soup.
  • Make cold beet soup without yogurt.

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