Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht)

June 26th, 2010 in Cold Soups, Soup Recipes by
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Total cooking time: 2h  

There is more than one recipe for borscht on this website, if you are looking for some other recipe, try here: all borscht recipes.




Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht)

Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht)

Are you suffering from hot weather like me? When outside feels like in the oven there is no better food to eat than cold soup. Lithuanian borscht is a nice refreshing buttermilk based cold soup you can put together without any extra hassle and then enjoy it sitting on the patio.

The real trick to Lithuanian borscht is to find good kefir – it should be original kefir which hasn’t been flavored with any tastes, not salted and not sweetened. I used plain unsweetened kefir (can be replaced with buttermilk) from Lifeway and it worked out perfectly.

The rest of ingredients: vegetables (beets, cucumber and greens) and hard boiled eggs, are easy to get and not pricey at all. And btw, even though this soup is called a “borscht”, the only thing it has in common to other borschts, I guess, is the color.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb beets (2-3 beets, depends on size)
  • ½ english cucumber (or 2-3 baby cucumbers)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Small bunch of green onions (like 4-5 stems, not more)
  • Small bunch of fresh green dill
  • 1 quart of original kefir or buttermilk
  • About 1 quart of cold boiled water
  • 3 tablespoons of original sour cream
  • Salt to taste

How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients: boil beets skin on and cool them down till room temperature (this takes some time, you can boil them in advance, even a night before to speedup the process; using canned beets is another alternative, but I never did it myself); also boil eggs till hard, cool then down too; rinse greens and cucumber:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 1

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 1

  2. Once boiled beets are cooled down, skin them:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 2

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 2

  3. Take big cooking pot and grate there boiled beet into it using big slots of grater:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 3

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 3

  4. Peel and dice eggs:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 4a

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 4a


    And add them to the cooking pot:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 4b

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 4b

  5. If cucumber has hard bitter skin – remove skin, also if seeds appear to be hard – remove them too. Then dice cucumber and add to the cooking pot:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 5

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 5

  6. Clean green onion, chop it and add to the cooking pot:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 6

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 6

  7. Add finely chopped fresh dill:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 7

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 7

  8. Add 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream and season with salt:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 8

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 8

  9. Mix everything:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 9

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 9

  10. Add all buttermilk:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 10

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 10

  11. Add about the same amount of water (or more, to taste) and mix everything. Cover cooking pot with a lid and put it to the fridge or cool place for about an hour to let flavors meld:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 11

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht) Recipe: Step 11

  12. Serve cold out of fridge as a soup course before main dish. Works perfect for hot summer days:
    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht)

    Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht)

Enjoy!

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19 Responses to “Lithuanian Borscht (Cold Borscht)”

  1. Irina says:

    I made a version of this soup yesterday with beets from my own garden! I use both the roots and the beet greens (stems and leaves). Delicious on a hot summer day!

  2. Irina says:

    I also just remembered eating Lithuanian cold borscht in Lithuania! When I was little, my family spent summer vacations in a little Lithuanian town for four years. One time we were in Vilnius waiting for our train back to Moscow and went to have lunch at a restaurant near the train station. I remember eating cold borscht and being particularly impressed that the potatoes (which I know your version doesn’t use) came not as chunks boiled in soup, which is what I was used to, but as a baked potato served separately on the side, for us to cut up as we saw fit and add to the soup ourselves.

  3. aye says:

    Luv luv Lithuanian Borscht! I live in Chicago and Grand Dukes restaurant which is Lithuanian restaurant has the best Lithuanian borscht and they do serve it with a potato on a side. Delicious!!! Can’t wait to make this one!

  4. iGro says:

    My best friend’s mom is Lithuanian and used to serve us this soup with rye bread. The caraway in the rye compliments the fresh cucumber.

  5. gabi says:

    try roasting the beets instead of boiling, I use a pyrex baking dish, add unskinned beets, salt pepper on top, olive oil a splash of balsamic vinegar and just about a cm of water (add more if it evaporates in the oven) bake a 375F until tender when poked with a screwer, skin when cold, the flavor is great, not as watery as when boiled

  6. Maurean Reid says:

    Thank you for your recipe – here in think we are not accustomed to anything but rain but today it is going to be very hot and I came across your recipe which I will make as it sounds very tempting. Some years ago we went by bus across Eastern Europe. When we stayed in Vilnius we took the train to Trackai and sat by the lake eating a very similar borsch. The difference was that it consisted of potatoes, sour cream, grated beetroot, boled egg and onion I think and was quite firm and each ingredient stood out indvidually – white cream, red beetroot etc. I will make your recipe today but if anyone has the other recipe I would be grateful – I think I have missed something out.

    Thank you – Maurean

  7. Maurean Reid says:

    Confirmed in what way – I do not understand.

  8. Deb says:

    I just tried this at a new restaurant and had to find a recipe. This sounds like it is an exact copy of what I tasted. The restaurant served it with a side of mashed potatoes to dip in the soup.

  9. SuzanneH says:

    Excellent recipe!

  10. Lauren says:

    I made this recipe exactly as described. It’s light and refreshing, perfect for summer heat wave weather. I also diced some avocado into the bowl when serving, which was a nice addition.

  11. Paul Morris says:

    Lauren, while your avocado addition is innovative, it is bordering on sacrilegious…

  12. Quasitlord says:

    I have made this recipe about 3-4x a year for the past 2 1/2 yrs.

    All time fave borscht recipe.

    Thank you so much!

  13. Betty Birskys says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I am 88 years old; my husband was Lithuanian-born, came to Australia in 1948, as a DP refugee. He taught me how to make this, but he died ten years ago and I have not made it since.
    Then my ‘kids’ (children, grand-children, great-grand-children) asked me to make it as my sole contribution to the Christmas feast. With the help of your recipe, I can do it; am trying it out on my sister and her sister-in-law (Aussies like me) tomorrow for our Saturday lunch. Wish me well; the illustration looks just like Anton’s creation.

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