Meaghan Brittini, an EcoRevolte rescuer presents us an original recipe from a recent trip in Lithuania. Here is it, with her own word.

Cold Beetroot Soup

The Baltic region, with its heavy dishes mainly comprising of meat and potatoes, and relatively bland seasonings, isn’t known around the world for its cuisine. So as a strong-flavour and spice loving vegetarian, I wasn’t expecting much excitement for the palate on my recent trip to Lithuania. But then I met a gem: šaltibarščiai, a cold and refreshing soup eaten on hot days (maybe the Baltic version of a gazpacho?), filled with shredded beets, cucumber, and sprigs of dill. It’s nicknamed “Pink Soup” for being just as colourful as it is delicious.

Since beetroot is one of those vegetables that there always seems to be a lot of, but which I know little of what to do with, I’m very happy to discover this soup!

This recipe calls for kefir- a fermented milk which is full of probiotics and very good for your tummy. I made my own at home with a packet of kefir bacteria bought in the refrigerator section of a health food store. (No need to get intimidated by this, it’s quite easy!) It took 24 hours in a dark closet to ferment the organic milk using this method. Keep in mind that this recipe was built around using all the kefir that I made, so if you already have kefir or are buying it ready-made, the recipe can easily be sized-down.

Ingredients (Makes 8 servings):

  • 1L kefir
  • 2 large beets, about 800g, boiled and peeled
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled
  • 500g small potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 1 bunch of dill, roughly chopped
  • Half of a bunch of chives, finely chipped
  • Salt
  • Crème fraiche (optional)

Direction:

If making kefir yourself, follow the fermenting instructions on the package. Remember that you need to use cold kefir, so start the fermenting process long enough in advance so that it has time to refrigerate.

When the beets are cool, shred them into a large bowl. Shred the cucumber into the same bowl (you can also finely chop the cucumber).

Add in the dill and chives, leaving just enough aside to sprinkle over the potatoes.

Pour over the kefir, mixing it all together. Salt it to taste.

When serving, garnish with boiled potatoes, dill, and a bit of crème fraiche, if you’d like!

Keeping it in the fridge for 24 hours before serving will give the veggies a nice crunch!