Cold Beet Soup or Lithuanian Saltibarsciai
Saltibarsciai (pronounced shal-tee-bars-chay) is an authentic Lithuanian cold beet soup. You will find that this delicious vegetarian soup is usually served from Easter into October. For a light lunch or dinner on a hot summers day, it is very easy to make, and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
What I personally like about making this soup during the summer months, is that it can be made early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in.
Several European countries make beet soup, which include Latvia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia.
Countries that are known for cold beet soup or Borscht
Lithuanian cold Beet soup is called Šaltibarščiai.
Latvian cold beet soup is called Aukstā zupa
Polish cold beet soup is called Chłodnik or Chłodnik litewski
Belarusian cold beet soup is called Chaładnik / Хaлaднiк "khaladnik"
Ukrainian cold beet soup is called Холодник kholodnyk
Russian cold beet soup is called Свекольник svekol'nik
Health Benefits From Eating Beats
Consuming the root vegetable beet will help protect against certain cancers such as colon cancer, birth defects and heart disease heart disease.
They are rich in antioxidants.
Have anti-inflammatory benefits.
People with toxins in their body should eat beats as they will work as a detoxification.
Fiber found is beets is excellent for the digestive tract.
In one cup of raw beets the nutrients along with the daily percentage value are as follows:
- Folate - 37%
- Manganese - 22.5%
- Fiber - 15.2%
- Potassium - 12.6%
- Vitamin C - 11.1%
- Tryptophan - 9.3%
- Magnesium - 7.8%
- Iron - 6%
- Phosphorus - 5.4%
- Copper - 5%
- Calories are 58 - 3%
Whenever you are preparing beets you may want to wear plastic kitchen gloves as when the beets bleed they will stain your skin. I do not like wearing gloves, so what I do after handling beets is simply rub lemon juice on my skin to remove the beet stain.
Beets are cooked when you can easily stick a fork or a knife into the beet.
- 1 pound or 2-3 medium beets
- 2 cucumbers, peeled
- 1/4 cup of chives or 2 scallions (green onions), chopped
- 2 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Liquid from boiling beets
- 4 cups of buttermilk
- 1 cup of sour cream
- fresh dill, chopped for garnish
- dollop of sour cream, to serve on top of each bowl of soup
- Cut off beet tops, trim, peel and rinse under cold water. In a pot cover the beets with water and boil for 40 minutes or until cooked.
- Hard boil 2 large eggs.
- When beets are cooked remove them from the water, reserving 2 cups of the liquid. Set aside to cool. Rinse the beets in cold water and cool by placing them in the refrigerator.
- Peel the 2 hard boiled eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Chop the whites up and set aside. Chop either chives or scallions and put into a small bowl with egg yolk and 1/4 tsp. of salt. The salt will help to bring out the onion flavor. Mash the yolks chives or scallions with the salt. Set aside.
- Peel 2 cucumbers (removing seeds if you like) and cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- Once cooled grate the beets into a bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add 2 cups of the reserved beet liquid with 4 cups of buttermilk. Stir and add 1 cup of sour cream and blend. Add the grated beets, cucumber, chopped egg whites and yolk mixture. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
- When ready to serve chop up fresh dill and sprinkle on top of each individual bowl of soup. Additional dollops of sour cream may also be added at this time.
Does this sound good?
For extremely hot days add ice cubes to each bowl to make this soup colder.