Lithuanian Summer Beetroot Soup a.k.a Pink Soup

lithuanian pink soup
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A fresh, filling and delicious soup for a hot summer day! Slightly sour pickled beetroot and refreshing cucumber in cold yoghurt-style Kefir, topped with lots of spring onion and dill, this is one of the most popular summer dishes in Lithuania. Just like Spanish Gaspacho, Lithuanian Beetroot Soup is served cold with some warm potatoes on the side! Whilst its real name is Šaltibarščiai (which translates as Cold Borschtz), it is more widely known as Lithuanian Pink Soup!

When I asked Seb what his favourite Eastern European dish was, he didn’t even have to think when he almost exclaimed: ‘Pink Soup!’. We enjoy it almost every week during the summer months. Whilst some mark the start of the summer season with a BBQ, we have a tradition here to declare summer by getting the flip-flops out of the back of the shoe cabinet and making the first Pink Soup of the season.

I am under no illusion that the combination of ingredients for this soup is unconventional, to say the least. When I think about it, I am completely baffled how such a RANDOM variety makes such a wonderful summer dish. Beetroot lightly picked in vinegar, kefir (that’s gaining more and more popularity in Western Europe), cucumber and eggs make up the basis of the dish. As pickling and fermented milk (kefir) are linked to gut health, this meal is definitely good for you too.

If you’re intrigued, let’s jump into the recipe itself!


How to Make Lithuanian Pink Soup (Cold Beetroot & Kefir Soup):

Making the soup itself takes minutes to make, so this recipe will take you no longer than potatoes and eggs take to boil.

Start by boiling potatoes until tender. Then drain, add a knob of butter and fresh chopped dill and shake the pan to cover the potatoes in dill butter. At the same time, hard-boil the eggs. It will take about 12 minutes in boiling water. Cool the eggs under cold running water in the sink. Peel and slice the eggs into rounds.

Add the grated beetroot (together with most of the pickling liquid), cucumber, dill and half of the spring onions to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the fridge-cold kefir, season with salt and pepper, and mix. Add the eggs, scatter the remaining spring onions on top and serve with hot boiled potatoes on the side.

Where Can I Get Pickled Grated Beetroot?

If you are in the UK, you can buy jars of grated beetroot in Tesco’s international aisles (or on Tesco Online Groceries). We use and love Dawtona Grated Beetroot. Alternatively, you can get it in most Eastern European/ Polish shops. However, if you cannot find any, here are two options for you:

  1. You can buy cooked beetroot in a vacuum. Cut the beetroots into tin sticks (julienne). Reserve and add any liquid in the vacuum into the soup, alongside a tbsp of cider vinegar.
  2. We will be posting a method of how we make our own grated beetroot this autumn, when we harvest the beets currently growing in our raised beds. I’ll link in the method, here, when it’s ready 🙂

For other soup ideas, have a look at our recipes below:

lithuanian pink soup

Cold Beetroot Soup a.k.a Lithuanian Pink Soup

A fresh, filling and delicious soup for a hot summer day! Slightly sour pickled beetroot and refreshing cucumber in cold yoghurt-style Kefir, topped with lots of spring onion and dill, this is one of the most famous summer dishes in Eastern Europe. Just like Spanish Gaspacho, Lithuanian Beetroot Soup is served cold with some warm potatoes on the side!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Lithuanian
Servings 4 portions
Calories 370 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the Soup:

  • 1 cucumber (approx. 300g) diced
  • 1 jar pickled grated beetroot (510g) see details above
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 g dill finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions sliced on the diagonal
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 l kefir

For the Potatoes:

  • 500 g baby potatoes
  • knob of butter
  • 5 g dill finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Boil potatoes until tender. Then drain, add a knob of butter and fresh chopped dill and shake the pan to cover the potatoes in dill butter.
  • Hard boil the eggs. It will take about 12 minutes in boiling water. Cool the eggs under cold running water in the sink. Peel and slice the eggs into rounds.
  • Add the grated beetroot (together with most of the pickling liquid), cucumber, dill and half of the spring onions to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the fridge-cold kefir, season with salt and pepper, and mix. Add the eggs, scatter the remaining spring onions on top and serve with hot boiled potatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 370kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 19gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 1049mgFiber: 6gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 1092IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 388mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Cold Beetroot & Cucumber Soup, Cold Beetroot Soup, Cold Pink Soup Recipe, Cold Soup Recipes, Cold Summer Soup, Lithuanian Pink Soup, Lithuanian Recipes, Lithuanian Saltibarsciai, Pink Soup Recipe, Saltibarsciai, Saltibarsciai Recipe
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lithuanian pink soup

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