Lithuanian Saltibarsciai - Cold beet soup

2022-03-13 Recipe Author Lithuanian in the USA

Lithuanian Saltibarsciai - Cold beet soup
There was missing a one traditional, Lithuanian cuisine recipe - cold beet soup called šaltibarščiai. It is impossible to imagine a hot summer without this soup in Lithuania. Usually, if you start making cold beet soup it means the summer is around the corner, or the weather is warm enough that your body starts askaing for a cold beet soup (of course, it’s only for Lithuanians). Cold beet soup is probably made in every Lithuanian kitchen in their own way but the essence of the recipe is always the same - kefir (or buttermilk), beetroots, cucumbers, onion greens and dill. Of course, cold beet soup is always served with a hard boiled egg and some hot potatoes (boiled or fried).

To all Lithuanians, the cold beet soup cult is well-known from the childhood but to most foreigners this soup looks very interesting. Usually, it’s incomprehensible why this soup is eaten cold, why is the color so pink or why the soup is made from kefir..? Well, and other similar questions are always asked… But of course, cold beet soup can be liked or disliked only after you try it. So this is your chance now! 🙂

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    • kefir or butter milk: 1 l (1 quart)
    • milk: 150 ml (3/4 cup)
    • pickled beets: 2 medium-sized
    • cucumbers: 2 medium-sized
    • chopped onion greens: 1 large handful
    • chopped dill: 1 handful
    • hard boiled eggs: 2
    • boiled potatoes with a peel: 8 small
    • salt: to taste

    Recipe Directions

  1. 1. Firstly, pour kefir into a big bowl.
  2. 2. Cut the beetroots into really tiny stripes. Put in a bowl together with kefir.
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  4. 3. Than peel the cucumbers and cut it into thin, narrow strips. Put together in a bowl with kefir. If the cucumbers have large seeds then remove them.
  5. 4. Put dill and onion greens into a bowl with kefir. Mix the soup, add salt to your own taste. If the kefir is quite thick, then add some milk. If you want thick beet soup then don't use milk at all.
  6. 5. Peel the boiled eggs, cut into several pieces and put them on each bowl with cold beet soup before serving. Serve with boiled or baked potatoes.
  7. 6. Note: You can replace milk with cold boiled water.
  8. 7. Note: You can also add sour cream on the top of beet soup before serving.
  9. lithuanian šaltibarščiai - cold beet soup
  10. 8. Note: I found one more recipe on YouTube that our family really loved. Attached it for you as well, if you would like to try it.

Lithuanian Saltibarsciai - Cold beet soup


Thank you! I had this soup in Kaunas, Lithuania, on a hot summer day and immediately fell in love with it (just like I fell in love with "standart" Borsch on a rainy, cold autumn day in Ukraine some years ago!!) (Actually, in Kaunas this soup was served as appetizer but I really can't remember what the main course was - I just thought about the soup :-) Gonna try to cook this at home tonight :-)
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