Cold Lithuanian beetroot & cucumber soup (Šaltibarščiai)


This a very typical soup from Lithuania that is not only super easy and quick to prepare, but very healthy and original! It’s a perfect soup for spring season.

Lithuanian beetroot & cucumber soup (Šaltibarščiai)

Cold beetroot & cucumber soup from Lithuania
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes


  • 500 g cooked red beetroots
  • 1 big cucumber
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 L Kefir fermented milk which you should find in organic shops or oriental grocery stores
  • 2 tbsp dill fresh if possible
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sour cream optional
  • 2 hard-boiled egg optional


  • Rinse the beets. If they are not already cooked, cook them in water or steam them with a pressure cooker. Rinse them in cold water to cool them down, then peel and cut them into large pieces.
  • Peel the cucumber (optional) and cut it into large pieces. Chop the spring onions.
  • In a large blender, mix the vegetables with the kefir (add it gradually).
  • Add the dill, salt and pepper and taste to adjust the seasoning. The consistency should be rather liquid, if the soup seems too thick, add a little kefir or fermented milk, or water.
  • For a traditional version, serve with a dash of sour cream as well as hot potatoes (also served with sour cream and dill) and hard-boiled eggs (place 1/2 cut hard-boiled egg in each bowl of soup). You can also serve with homemade potato patties, or gnocchi (for a less traditional version).


You can also add chives and/or radishes (pink or black) to the soup, or serve some pickles sliced on top of your soup which will go very well with the sweetness of the soup.
Why not try this recipe with other types of beetroot as well?
Vegan option: replace the kefir with plant based milk (rice milk for instance) and a bit of plant based cream.
Course: Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Lithuanian
Keyword: Beetroot, Soup

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