Beautiful chilled pink soup with earthy red beets, kefir, dill, cooked egg. Summer heat doesn’t hurt so much if you eat this Šaltibarščiai – cold pink soup!
Šaltibarščiai, it was the name that caught my attention in the first place and no, I am not able to pronounce it either. Red beet, cold kefir, and dill sealed the deal. This soup is as good as I anticipated it to be and it feels as good as I needed it to be. Around here in the Southeast summer has us in its grip and I don’t think we will be able to shake it off for awhile. Salads are already coming out of my ears and cold soup strikes me as a nice change of pace.
Šaltibarščiai – cold pink soup
Are you a kefir-newbie? Kefir is kinda like cultured buttermilk and full of protein and vitamins. However, kefir is rather different in preparation than buttermilk and is for sure more tangy and thicker. It’s called the drink of the hundred-year-olds because it is said that the people in Caucasus, who enjoy and love drinking plentiful kefir, are getting as old as Methuselah.
- 1 liter/quart kefir
- 2 medium red beets, cooked, cooled and coarsely grated
- 2-3 green onions, chopped
- juice from 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh dill (about 6 sprigs), finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 4 hard cooked eggs, peeled
- 4 medium potatoes, cooked and peeled
- Stir kefir, beets, green onions, cucumber and ¾ of the dill. Season to taste with lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Place the soup in your refrigerator for a few hours (but if you are hungry go for it).
- Serve in individual bowls each with cucumber, egg, potato and sprinkled with the remaining dill. Originally you would eat the boiled potato on the side, I prefer them cooked in the skin, cooled and chopped in the soup.
You can also use pickled red beets, but start with less lemon juice or you even might want to skip it.
I also tried a version where I pureed kefir and red beets, although I prefer to have more texture with this soup, it was still very good.