Saltibarsciai is a summer, pink soup made of cold beets. It is a traditional Lithuanian dish, also known in Poland as chłodnik. The soup is usually served with cucumbers, radishes and dill, sometimes with a hard-boiled egg or baked potatoes. The most popular version of this soup uses kefir, a fermented milk drink that has incredible health benefits- It is high in nutrients and probiotics, and is beneficial for digestion and gut health. Many people consider it to be a healthier and more powerful version of yogurt. Saltibarsciai is light, refreshing, garlicky and lemony with a nice crunch from radishes and cucumbers. It is a perfect soup for when it’s too warm out to eat anything hot or when you only have a limited time to make something nutritious and delicious.
The beautiful weather outside puts me in a great mood and makes me want to cook more lighter things- can’t get enough of fresh fruit and veggies lately, no pierogi for this girl! Together with a beautiful weather comes a lot of special events and occasions- on April 17th a celebrated my birthday which by the way I share with my mother-in-law, crazy! I am going out with my friends to celebrate this Friday which I am so looking forward to. Party time! Then I’m hosting a baby shower for my friend, then we have 2 weddings, my hubby’s birthday and trip to a lake house. A lot of occasions to go summer dress shopping 🙂
Back to the recipe. The picture below presents all of the ingredients. As you can see they are super simple and pretty cheap to get.
I started with peeling and then grating my beets. Then I covered them with just enough water to cover them and boiled for 10 minutes on medium heat.
In the meantime I grated radishes and cucumber. It is not necessary but I left a little bit of both veggies to use as a garnish later.
I took the beets off the heat and transferred them to a big bowl and added chopped garlic, kefir, grated cucumber and radish. This is when your beet soup turns beautifully pink. Then I tried the soup and added lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Saltibarsciai is the best when it stays in a fridge for at least an hour before serving- then the flavors can really mix and the soup is nice and chilled.
I garnished the ready soup with chopped cucumber, radish and sprinkled with dill.
If you tried this recipe and posted a pic or comment use hashtag #EasternEuropeanRecipes I’d love to see how it turned out!
- 2 big beets
- 1 bunch of radishes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bottle of kefir (32 fl oz)
- chopped dill (dried or fresh)
- salt and pepper
- Peel and grate beets. Cover with cold water and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
- In the meantime grate the cucumber and radishes, leave some aside for the garnish later.
- In a big bowl mix cooked beets with chopped garlic, kefir, grated cucumber and radishes. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Let sit in a fridge for at least an hour, serve with chopped radishes, cucumbers and chopped dill. Enjoy!