Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup

I don’t know about you, but this summer I’ve been trying to get away from serving hot meals as much as possible. I love soups of all kinds, but just can’t enjoy them as much when it’s sweltering outside.

Anybody else with me on that one?

However, last weekend the kids and I (and my Mom!) attended a global missions fair and tried out some different ethnic foods. Near the “Europe” area, we saw from afar a sign for some kind of food for $1 and sent one of my older boys to go buy one for us to try. Well, my Andrew brings us back a cup full of something that resembles Pepto Bismol with stuff floating in it.

I’m sure I said something like, “What is that??”

“Oh, it’s some kind of soup,” he said.


I tried a bite, and to my surprise, it was really good!

So, when I came home I looked up what it was and discovered that it was from Lithuania and called Saltibarsciai. Other countries in that region of the world seem to have a version of this as well.

I made this yesterday for my clan and it actually went over kind of well. A couple kids actually asked me to make it again, so I guess it wasn’t a failure. I know I really enjoyed it as I had some for lunch and dinner.

Besides the fact that it’s refreshingly cold and pink, I love this for the mix of flavors in it–beets, cucumbers, and buttermilk. Ooh, and sour cream on top.  That makes it extra good too.

Here’s the basic recipe that I used. You can make a lot of this ahead and just pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

8 cups buttermilk

3 medium beets, cooked, chilled, and diced

2 diced cucumbers

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with dill and/or chives,  sour cream

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