Šaltibarščiai (Beet Soup) Recipe


Lithuanian Beet Soup Recipe

From the Kitchen of Terese Vekteris

Saltibarsciai (Beet Soup)

Šaltibarščiai (Beet Soup)

8 cups kefir*
½ cup sour cream
1 jar shredded marinated beets**
2 small cucumbers, shredded***
3 tablespoons chopped dill
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
boiled potatoes (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together kefir and sour cream. Add beets, cucumber, scallions, eggs, and dill; mix. Serve saltibarsciai chilled with a dollop of sour cream and a side of warm potatoes.

*Kefir (kefyras) is the traditional way to make šaltibarščiai. Most grocery stores now carry kefir, but just make sure it’s plain, not flavored! You can substitute buttermilk; whole milk buttermilk is better than lowfat buttermilk. If you like your šaltibarščiai thinner, just add water.

**This is the easy way. If you prefer, you can peel and boil your own fresh beets (about 2-3 large beets), and add salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar to taste.

***This refers to pickling cucumbers, which are smaller and have less water content than conventional cucumbers. You can use one large conventional cucumber if you can’t find pickling cucumbers.

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We loved this soup on our trip to Lithuania last year.  Finding myself with an abundance of beets, I've successfully re-created it to great satisfaction!  Thanks so much for the authentic recipe.  I used buttermilk and it tastes great to us. I am curious as to how many this serves?  It seems like a lot.  I cut it back considerably to make two servings. 


@CatherineCloud Yes, it does make a lot! If you do servings that are a cup, I'd say about 10-12, since the kefir alone is 8 cups.


Thank  you so much for the information. Any good tips or recipes are valued!


Once made, do you have to use it immediately or can it be stored in the refrigerator for two or three days?


@JaniceLedebur It should last in the refrigerator for several days. In fact, it usually tastes better after a day or two, once the flavors have had a chance to meld.