Click HERE to register your comments......or improve the recipe.

Or do you want to take another look at the homepage MENU?

Or do you want to SEARCH for something specific?

A second opinion! Marilyn Janunas of Las Vegas writes to say: "If you don't like buttermilk you can use a large container of sour cream and then add some water to it. Also, for us lazy ones, we can use a couple of cans of 'shoestring beets,' which are sold in most supermarkets. We even add a little vinegar and sugar to it. Just thinking about this makes my mouth water. My mother always made this for the family in the summer. It's a cool refreshing soup. Enjoy!!"


(Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup)

A perfect summer soup that's an absolutely gorgeous shade of day glo pink. This traditional Lithuanian soup (meaning "cold beet soup") is stuffed with crisp and tender textures--all of them bold in flavor--and delivered in a refreshingly cold and sour buttermilk broth. Many thanks for this outstanding recipe to Pasaka and Jonas Griciai, both physicians who live in Vilnius with their dog, Picasso. Pasaka correctly notes it is "one of the most refreshing, delicious, and ridiculously easy to make summer soups out there"--and she doesn't even like beets! Serve ice cold as a light summer meal to 4-6 people with fresh boiled potatoes, also sprinkled with dill.

  • 8 cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced into thick matchsticks
  • 3 medium beets, boiled, peeled, and cut into thick matchsticks
  • 2 eggs, hardboiled, sliced into matchstick shapes (as best you can!)
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Garnish: chopped fresh dill

Whisk the buttermilk in a large bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients. You may add cold water or ice cubes if the soup is too rich or thick for your tastes.

Jurate Senavaityte from Ann Arbor, Michigan, writes: "Saltibarsciai is traditionally made with Kefyras, which is kefir, rather than sour cream or buttermilk. You can find unflavored kefir in health food supermarkets like Whole Foods. A whole different taste, and the only way to make it! And yes, the natives serve it with a side of cold boiled potatoes sprinkled with a little bit of fresh or dried dill - sometimes a dollop of kefyras and a sprinkle of dill on the top of the soup. Kefir has live biocultures like yogurt which makes this quite a healthy soup. I was in Lithuania for 2 months last summer and had Saltibarsciai almost every day! I sviekata! (to your health!)

Brenda Sheriff of Windsor, Ontario, writes: "My family has always made "Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup" but referred to it as just plain "Cold Bortsh". Every spring my daughter Jackie and I get the urge for this wonderful soup and usually by April I have already made it. It is in my fridge freshly made all summer long. We have a bounty of fresh vegetables in Ontario during the summer which makes this soup even better. I make it with sour cream and I boil shredded fresh beets in 4 qts. of water and use the stems chopped and the the leaves chopped too. I let the broth cool down enough to add sour cream and then I combine 2 chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped English (seedless) cucumber and chopped green onion. A liberal sprinkling of fresh dill really enhances this flavour. My maternal grandfather came from Lithuania/Russia and my maternal grandmother from Poland. My daughter was raised on this soup and can't get enough of it. I have already passed the recipe on to her so that she can carry it on as well. There is nothing better or more nutritious than this soup on a 90 degree summer day."

Alice Cuevas of Marlin, Texas agrees: "We have always used sour cream instead of buttermilk,and fresh lemons or sour salt to give it that extra zing. I'm 2000 miles away from my family and I often call to make sure I'm doing it right. My sister told me pretend that you're making a salad. Chop up your cucumbers, beets, eggs, chives (optional). Whisk together sour cream with the beet juice until well blended, pour over your ingredients, add cool boiled water to make your soup as thick or thin as you like. Add your dill and chill. We do like our boiled potatoes with this dish. I prefer mine cold from the day before sauted in butter and lightly browned with a sprinkle of dill."

Dr. Danis Kastys of Chicago, Illinois, addresses Ms Sheriff's comments on the correct name of the soup: "The Lithuanians also call this soup 'Cold Bortsch' which is what Saltibarsciai means. In Poland it is called "Chlodnik Litewski", which means Lithuanian Cold Soup (no reference to the beets). So the Lithuanian portion of the name simply designates the soup's origins."