Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup

Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup

Hot, summer days.  Cool refreshing soup.   Soup?

You’ve probably had Spanish gazpacho as a chilled soup.  But what about a bowl of cool, fuschia delicious-ness?

This vintage recipe is from Zak’s Lithuanian grandmother.  Cold beet soup is a Lithuanian tradition, and has become one of my favorite summer lunches.  Beet soup (Saltibarsciai, in Lithuanian) is a creamy buttermilk or yogurt based soup, filled with beets, cucumbers and dill.

When we visited Vilnius last year, beet soup was everywhere, often served with hot potatoes (and a good dollop of sour cream, of course!)  It’s often eaten as a starter to a bigger meal, but I also like it with a salad or sandwich for a summer lunch.

Don’t worry about the color, and trust me on this one, it’s really tasty!

Chilled Beet Soup

2 cooked red beets, peeled and coarsely grated

2 fresh cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 hard boiled eggs

6 TB sour cream

4 c. buttermilk

1 c. water

8 sprigs fresh dill, finely chopped

1 cup scallion greens, finely chopped


Stir together egg yolks, scallion greens and a little salt to make a paste.

Chop the egg whites.  Add egg whites and all other ingredients to bowl, and stir together.

Soup will become VERY pink colored (depending on the ratio of beets to liquid).  Chill, serve with extra fresh dill and hot potatoes.  Or, keep a bowl in the fridge like Zak’s grandma for an easy summer starter or lunch!

What traditional summer recipes does your family have??  Let us know in the comments.

About the author

Amanda Cook is an author, entrepreneur, and alchemist. She helps successful women create lives of meaning & magic by connecting with the seasons. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, The Sunday Telegraph, Natural Health UK Magazine, and more. Learn more at

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  1. My boyfriend makes one beet root soup that I HATE – I’ll try this one instead, I’ll let you know if it’s any better 😉

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