Recipe: Traditional Lithuanian Saltibarsciai (Cold beet soup)


A truly traditional Lithuanian soup in the summertime is Saltibarsciai which translates to ‘cold beet soup’. It’s bright pink in color and is always interesting to tourists because of what it looks like and the concept. I always say that this is one of the main meals that tourists need to try when they come to Lithuania as it is one of a kind and very delicious! It’s sweet but also savoury, refreshing and quite light- perfect for a hot day, although I think I would even eat it during the fall or winter just because it’s that delicious!

My mom in particular loves it – she makes a huge pot and eats it throughout the day in the summertime. While I was at home at our lakehouse, she made it several times and I knew I HAD to share the recipe with you. There are various variations of what you could use as the base, but for the purpose of simplicity for people worldwide- I would say use Kefir drink. If you are in Lithuania – use the specific saltibarsciai rugpienis as that is what my mom uses and seems to have the best taste and texture, yet Kefir will also give you a very similar result. For a perfect lunch, also boil some potatoes to enjoy on the side, or as I do – put them directly into my bowl!

Hope you try this cool Lithuanian recipe while it’s still semi-warm outside!

P.S. Thanks to my mom for some of these gorgeous pictures! I especially love the one with my dad!

Recipe: serves 4-5 people


3 large eggs

1 large or 3 small cucumbers (1 1/2 cup when cut into small wedges)

0.5 Litres marinated, sweet beetroot (with the liquid)

1 Litre Kefyr drink

250 mL semi-skimmed milk

handful of chives

handful of dill

3/4 tbsp salt

1 tsp sugar


  1. Hard boil the 3 eggs and let them cool while you prepare the rest of the cold soup.
  2. Chop or grate the beetroot into thin strips and cut the cucumber into small strips or wedges. Put into a large pot.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients into the pot and taste – add more salt if you fancy.
  4. Cut eggs into wedges and put into the cold-beet soup.

Enjoy with some hot potatoes on a warm day and let me know how you like it! 🙂


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