Cold Beet Soup or Lithuanian Saltibarsciai

Updated on March 13, 2018
Just Ask Susan profile image

One of Susan's passions is cooking and creating new recipes for family and friends.

Saltibarsciai (pronounced shal-tee-bars-chay) is an authentic Lithuanian cold beet soup. You will find that this delicious vegetarian soup is usually served from Easter into October. For a light lunch or dinner on a hot summers day, it is very easy to make and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

What I personally like about making this soup during the summer months, is that it can be made early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in.

Several European countries make beet soup, which includes Latvia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia.

Saltibarciai Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup
Saltibarciai Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup | Source

Countries that are known for cold beet soup or Borscht

show route and directions
A markerLithuania -
Lithuania
get directions

Lithuanian cold Beet soup is called Šaltibarščiai.

B markerLatvia -
Latvia
get directions

Latvian cold beet soup is called Aukstā zupa

C markerPoland -
Poland
get directions

Polish cold beet soup is called Chłodnik or Chłodnik litewski

D markerBelarus -
Belarus
get directions

Belarusian cold beet soup is called Chaładnik / Хaлaднiк "khaladnik"

E markerUkraine -
Ukraine
get directions

Ukrainian cold beet soup is called Холодник kholodnyk

F markerRussia -
Russia
get directions

Russian cold beet soup is called Свекольник svekol'nik

Beets

In one cup of raw beets the nutrients along with the daily percentage value are as follows:

  • Folate - 37%
  • Manganese - 22.5%
  • Fiber - 15.2%
  • Potassium - 12.6%
  • Vitamin C - 11.1%
  • Tryptophan - 9.3%
  • Magnesium - 7.8%
  • Iron - 6%
  • Phosphorus - 5.4%
  • Copper - 5%
  • Calories are 58 - 3%

Health Benefits From Eating Beats

Consuming the root vegetable beet will help protect against certain cancers such as colon cancer, birth defects, and heart disease.

They are rich in antioxidants.

Have anti-inflammatory benefits.

People with toxins in their body should eat beats as they will work as a detoxification.

Fiber found in beets is excellent for the digestive tract.

Beet Tips

Whenever you are preparing beets you may want to wear plastic kitchen gloves as when the beets bleed they will stain your skin. I do not like wearing gloves, so what I do after handling beets is simply rub lemon juice on my skin to remove the beet stain.

Beets are cooked when you can easily stick a fork or a knife into the beet.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 6-8 servings depending on the size of bowls.
Buttermilk, fresh beets, cucumbers, eggs, chives, fresh dill
Buttermilk, fresh beets, cucumbers, eggs, chives, fresh dill | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 pound or 2-3 medium beets
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled
  • 1/4 cup of chives or 2 scallions (green onions), chopped
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Liquid from boiling beets
  • 4 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • fresh dill, chopped for garnish
  • dollop of sour cream, to serve on top of each bowl of soup
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Grated BeetsWith a fork mash egg yolks with chives and salt.Peeled and chopped cucumbers.Cold beet soup. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
Grated Beets
Grated Beets | Source
With a fork mash egg yolks with chives and salt.
With a fork mash egg yolks with chives and salt. | Source
Peeled and chopped cucumbers.
Peeled and chopped cucumbers. | Source
Cold beet soup. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
Cold beet soup. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. | Source

Instructions

  1. Cut off beet tops, trim, peel and rinse under cold water. In a pot cover the beets with water and boil for 40 minutes or until cooked.
  2. Hard boil 2 large eggs.
  3. When beets are cooked remove them from the water, reserving 2 cups of the liquid. Set aside to cool. Rinse the beets in cold water and cool by placing them in the refrigerator.
  4. Peel the 2 hard boiled eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Chop the whites up and set aside. Chop either chives or scallions and put into a small bowl with egg yolk and 1/4 tsp. of salt. The salt will help to bring out the onion flavor. Mash the yolks chives or scallions with the salt. Set aside.
  5. Peel 2 cucumbers (removing seeds if you like) and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  6. Once cooled grate the beets into a bowl. Set aside.
  7. In a large bowl add 2 cups of the reserved beet liquid with 4 cups of buttermilk. Stir and add 1 cup of sour cream and blend. Add the grated beets, cucumber, chopped egg whites and yolk mixture. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
  8. When ready to serve, chop up fresh dill and sprinkle on top of each individual bowl of soup. Additional dollops of sour cream may also be added at this time.
  9. Enjoy!

Does this sound good?

4.8 stars from 13 ratings of Cold Beet Soup

Addition

For extremely hot days add ice cubes to each bowl to make this soup colder.

Cold Beet Soup

Have you ever had cold beet soup?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Susan Zutautas

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      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        KDeus, It is a refreshing soup to have in the summer months when it's really hot out. Add a few ice cubes to it and it is sure to cool you off.

      • KDeus profile image

        Keely Deuschle 

        5 years ago from Florida

        This looks very interesting! I've never had a beet soup. I often will use beets in my juicing, but never in soup. Voted up and Pinned!

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Melovy, I remember having this soup at a family Easter Sunday dinner and there was still snow on the ground. But I like it better when it is hot out.

        So glad you liked the hub, and thank you.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        robie, You could always cut the recipe in half :)

      • Melovy profile image

        Yvonne Spence 

        6 years ago from UK

        I’ve made beetroot soup before, but we’ve always eaten it warm. I laughed when I read you like it because you can make it before the heat of the day. We get about 5 days per year like that in Scotland, and this year looks like we had them in March! It’s pouring down outside right now and the thermometer shows 11 degrees (C).

        Still, I could always make the cold beet soup and eat in our conservatory (sun room) where it sometimes feels as if I am in Australia! It looks great anyway and you’ve done a fantastic job on the layout of the hub.

      • Rommey profile image

        Rommey 

        6 years ago from Texas

        Susan, labai a?i? tau, re what robie said, the buttermilk and the sour cream should be left out for freezing. But the taste would suffer a lot anyway, because the egg whites would become like plastic and won't defrost well. The dill would lose the flavor, and so on. I wouldn't recommend it either.

      • robie2 profile image

        Roberta Kyle 

        6 years ago from Central New Jersey

        I hadn't thought about the sour cream hmmmmm I'm wondering if I couldn't make it, following the recipe but leaving out the sour cream. Then I could freeze it in several containers so that each frozen container would contain two or three servings. I could thaw the soup when ready to use and add the sour cream then. Do you think that would work? Otherwise, I'll have to wait till I have a big dinner party or be eating soup by myself for a week:-)

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        robie, Before freezing it keep in mind that when you defrost the soup the sour cream may have a different consistency. I've never tried freezing this soup as it's eaten too fast to freeze :) Let me know how it goes.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Rommey, Aciu. Without the accents it should work :) My husbands grandmother taught me how to make this. I'm sure it would good with half the beets and the beet leaves. So glad that your wife liked this recipe.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thanks so much Simone.

      • robie2 profile image

        Roberta Kyle 

        6 years ago from Central New Jersey

        Fabulous-- I love beets and I love cold soup in hot weather. This recipe is so well explained. I think I can do this. I'm gonna make a big vat and freeze it. yummmmmmmmmm voting up and sharing thisone.

      • Rommey profile image

        Rommey 

        6 years ago from Texas

        Susan, don't mention it... My wife loved it, I tried to give her my recipe, too confusing for her, but you made it perfect. We used to make a variation of it, without the cucumbers, buttermilk, and dill, while adding salt pork bits (previously browned in a pan and drained) and serving it hot, special for Winter times, with a side dish of backed potatoes with browned onion bits. Don't forget the sour cream dollops (on the potatoes). Another Lithuanian variation of the cold šaltibarš?iai is made with half of beets and half of beet-leaves (added minerals and vegetable proteins). Taurage (Lithuania).

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Rommey, a?i?. (Thank you) :) Just noticed this came out a little different than what I typed.

      • Simone Smith profile image

        Simone Haruko Smith 

        6 years ago from San Francisco

        What a cool healthy dish! I don't think I've ever had beets before, and I most DEFINITELY have not had cold soup before, so this is a very novel and foreign thing to me! Love the fun nutrition stats and the cool map with all the different names. This is a super fun Hub!

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Gypsy, The cucumbers are quite nice in this soup.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Rommey, a?i?.

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

        Sounds terrific. Have had cold beet soup but not with cucumbers. Will give it a try. Thanks for sharing and passing this on.

      • Rommey profile image

        Rommey 

        6 years ago from Texas

        labai geras (šaltas) ;)

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Susan, I'm not a vegetarian either but I probably could easily become one. I would miss meat though.

        Thank you for the votes and shares.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Tammy, Not sure that you would want to substitute the beets for turnips but you never know, it might be good :)

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        RedElf, Thanks so much.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Frank, Thanks. It is very easy to make.

      • sholland10 profile image

        Susan Holland 

        6 years ago from Southwest Missouri

        I am not a vegetarian, but I love most vegetarian dishes. This looks delicious (and it is really pretty, too)and great for a summer meal. I love how you show the European countries that make this soup. It always interests me what other cultures eat.

        Beautiful pics! Votes and shared!

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Arren, Thanks.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Hyphenbird, My husbands grandmother makes this soup all summer long. We always know when we visit her beet soup will be served.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        GoodLady, A book on beets would be very interesting. I hope that both you and your Mother enjoy this recipe.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Rebecca, Thanks and I hope that you enjoy it.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Victoria, Not everyone likes beets and that's okay :) But it is a pretty color :)

      • tammyswallow profile image

        Tammy 

        6 years ago from North Carolina

        That is just a gorgeous looking soup. My parents used to make me eat beats and pickled beats and I don't care for them. Can anything be substituted for the beets (turnips?) I am sure nothing will give it that color. This is really innovative and the thought of a cold soup on a hot day is really appealing. Great creativity!

      • RedElf profile image

        RedElf 

        6 years ago from Canada

        Great recipe and wonderful pictures. Now I must go forage for some food. Wish I had some of your soup in my fridge!

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Bill, I always appreciate your support, and thanks for stopping by to have a look at my Cold Beet Soup.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        livelonger, Pickle soup sounds interesting and one I'd like to try. Hope you enjoy this recipe.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        RH, Beets are good for you :) I've always liked beets especially pickled ones.

      • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Judi and Kelly, Thank you. My husband loves this soup and is always after me to make it. He was so happy when he came home today to see I'd made.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 years ago from Shelton

        never even heard of this cold beet soup.. but ill tell you Just ask Susan.. you make it easy for any man to cook--or at least follow a recipe voted high because you make it so easy to follow

      • Arren123 profile image

        Arren123 

        6 years ago from UK

        Mmmm looks yummy, love the colour :)

      • Hyphenbird profile image

        Brenda Barnes 

        6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

        Yum. We love beets and beet anything. This is a lovely recipe and would be refreshing on a hot summer day. Thanks so much. Hyphen

      • GoodLady profile image

        Penelope Hart 

        6 years ago from Rome, Italy

        This will make my Mother very happy. She's writing a book about beets- she loves them and believes in their health properties so much. We have beets every which way when we visit. This recipe will make her day and I look forward to eating it many many times.

        Thanks.

      • rebeccamealey profile image

        Rebecca Mealey 

        6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

        This looks good, I actually have heard of Borscht but never made it. I must try this! And beets are so nutritious! Thanks for this awesome recipe and the information makes for an interesting read!Voted up and shared!

      • Victoria Lynn profile image

        Victoria Lynn 

        6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

        Susan--I love the hub and photos. Very nice hub. I'm with Bill, though, I'm not a beet person (although he said beans--LOL), so I'm not sure I could eat it. I might try it, though; the rest of the ingredients in it might make it just perfect!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        6 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Susan, I have to be honest, I would not eat this because, well, I'm not a bean guy. The pictures look great and I wanted to make sure I showed you my support, so here I am...great hub and for those who like beans I'm sure the recipe is fantastic.

      • livelonger profile image

        Jason Menayan 

        6 years ago from San Francisco

        Great stuff! I love this soup. When I lived in Poland, they called it (as you say on the map) chlodnik litewski, which means something like "Lithuanian cold soup." It was my second favorite soup after pickle soup (zupa ogorkowa). Have never made this, so I look forward to giving it a shot!

        By the way the "barš?" in the Lithuanian name sounds identical to the Polish word barszcz, which means beet soup (borscht).

      • RealHousewife profile image

        Kelly Umphenour 

        6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

        Yeah! Wow! That's pretty and I've never really had beets - I heard they were bad! Lol lol. My family never made them I guess and hmmm I'll have to try it! I could eat that with my eyes!

      • profile image

        kelleyward 

        6 years ago

        I love your beautiful pictures. This looks different and amazing! I love that it has beets in it because I'm always looking for news ideas to add this wonderful vegetable to my diet. Thanks! Kelley

      • Judi Bee profile image

        Judith Hancock 

        6 years ago from UK

        This looks stunning! I love pickled beetroots, maybe it's time I tried them in soup. Pinned!

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