The pink soup

Before I get into describing what this pink stuff is all about, a few words on detox, I’ve been going through this weekend.

Having successfully finished the 2 day process, I’m now slowly getting back to normal eating regime, I though of sharing a few thoughts on it detoxing. I should say again, that this detox has nothing to do with any diets or stuff like that (no diet in my opinion is worth such effort), but rather doctors orders.

The detox I’ve been assigned to go through, basically consists of 2 liters of citrus (lemon, grapefruit, orange) juice mixed with 2 liters of water and that’s all you get for a day. Such detox is the most extreme and should be done for 1-3 days maximum. Additionally, you should prepare by a week before and after cutting out meat, dairy products, alcohol and preferably coffee (that’s always a challenge for me).

How does the detox go? First of all, you don’t really starve. For the daily citrus dose you need 6 large grapefruits (among other citrus) and they have a tendency to keep you filled, so as long as you’re not running a marathon and continue to sip the watery juice all day long, you’re fine (4 litres ain’t so little).

Second, during and after you feel surprisingly energized. Now, a week before detox I’ve spent working particularly long hours, and sleeping as little as 3.5 hours a day, so normally after that I would spend a weekend in a coma like state (nothing fun here) but this wasn’t the case. Instead, after completing the both days I’m feeling as energized as ever and while normally when my alarm rings at 6 am, I practically crawl out of bed, these days, I’m already wide awake by 5.30! Not that I’m actively promoting here though the detox… but it’s not as horrific as it may seem.

But enough about the detox, to continue with the Lithuanian cuisine editorial today is all about the pink soup or as we call it in Lithuanian šaltibarščiai. It’s a cold soup made with beets and kefir (or buttermilk) and always served with boiled potatoes, and is very popular in summer as a main dish or as a refreshing snack.

While almost everyone I know is quite crazy about this soup, it was one of the things I never even looked upon when it was made at home. I tend to think that beets are to blame here, as they were always one of the very few things I just couldn’t stand and only started to slowly appreciate them recently.

It actually took my French husband to start liking this soup a lot, for me to give it another try and I have to say I’ve been eating it ever since. If you fancy beets, then there isn’t really much not to like in this soup: it’s refreshing, has a sweet-sour touch and with the eggs and potatoes filling at the same time.

Note: for this soup traditionally the beets are grates, but it’s quite a messy process to grate them, so I used a blender, which makes it more time efficient.

5.0 from 7 reviews

Lithuanian cold beet soup (šaltibarščiai)
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Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4

  • 500ml kefir or buttermilk
  • 3 medium beets, boiled and peeled
  • 2 large cucumbers, diced
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled
  • a bunch of chives, chopped
  • a bunch of fresh dill, chopped
  • salt
  • freshly grounded pepper
  • crème fraiche
  • 450 g potatoes

  1. Boil the potatoes. You can either serve the potatoes boiled or to add an extra crisp, quickly sautee them in oil before serving.
  2. Blend the kefir and beets in a blender, season with salt and pepper. You may need quite a bit salt here as the beets give a lot of sweetness and adding salt will balance it, so add it according to your taste.
  3. Stir in the diced cucumber. Divide between plates and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche, a few slices of egg and generously sprinkled with chives, dill, and potatoes on the side. Enjoy!

68 thoughts on “The pink soup

  1. What an amazing color. I’ve had beet and buttermilk soup but it looks nothing l ike this amazing version. I have to give this a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Thanks Mary, I’m so used to it, that the pink color doesn’t suprise any more, happy you like it, have a nice weekend! :)

  2. A fabulous soup! I am a sucker for beetroot and that egg is cooked to perfection.



  3. Your pink soup is stunning! I can’t get over your pics, they look so gorgeous with the sliced egg! I’ve gotta admit I’m still not in love with beets… but they’re growing on me! And they’re so good for you :) Your soup sounds perfect!

    • Thank Kristina, loving beets is process and I’m only at the very beginning of the journey :)

  4. My daughter would be over the moon if I made this, she likes anything and everything pink!
    I too have only recently started to like beets and I am looking forward to trying this

    • Thanks Sawsan, you know, since you’ve mentioned it, I think it looks like a very girly soup :)

  5. Šaltibarščiai was a huge hit with our foreign guests who came to celebrate our wedding in Lithuania. Who knew? I though you had to have Lithuanian DNA to appreciate this. Happy to hear that your French husband likes it. My American husband LOVES it probably more than me (which says a lot).

    • You know, I’m equally surprised so many foreigners like it, the taste is so specific, (and I have to admit, the first time my husband saw it, he looked like some experimental potion was given for him to try), but maybe that’s our undiscovered export product :)

  6. I have been trying to be more outgoing and try new things and beets are on the list. Your soup does look so vibrant and tasty. Seeing that you were not so fond of beets and that it was enjoyed by several people, this may be the recipe to try as I dabble in eating beets! Inspiring post!

    • Thanks Rhonda! This soup is a bit peculiar, but could be interesting to try :)

    • Imaginary food from Hook? That has to be the best description of this soup ever! :)

    • This may sound weird but this is soup is incredibly popular amongst men :)

  7. Oh, my gosh! I have to make this, not only because of the gorgeous pink color, but because I am half Lithuanian on my father’s side. I don’t remember my grandmother making this during our family visits, but I am sure she ate this.
    I have heard from other people who have gone through a detox that they also experienced a huge energy burst. I really must try a detox myself.

    • Hi Elaine, if you’re grandmother was Lithuanian, then she surely ate this one, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t :)

  8. mmmm i think my favorite thing here is your beautiful boiled eggs. they look so yummy against the pink soup! good work on your detox, i’m glad it’s going well!

    • Thanks so much Anna, eggs in this soup are usually have to be a bit more boiled, but this seems to work too :)

    • Thanks so much for the invitation to The Soup Kitchen, I will surely join in :)

    • Bogota? I though this soup was more native to Eastern Europe… !

  9. Saltibarsciai yra mano megstamiausias lietuviskas patiekalas–ir patiko visiems amerikieciams, kuriuos vaisinau!

    • As tiesiog galvoju, kad mes pilnai neisnaudojom saltibarsciu potencialo :)

  10. Beautiful soup and such breathtaking colors! We have a yogurt based side in India simialr to this using grated beeets. Your soup looks delectable, I must say..and with the eggs as a topper, love it!

    • Thanks Tisa, it’s so interesting to hear how countries so far apart come to having similar dishes!

  11. the color reminds me of dragon fruit. but when i come across the ingredients, i’m impressed with its loveliness!

    • Now, that you mention it, it does remind a bit the dragon fruit (on the outside at least), but it tastes nothing like it :)

  12. I know this soup! Now I like it a lot especially when it’s hot, but I hated it as a child.
    I’m happy to learn you have finished the detox and that it makes you feel energised.

  13. Love the color of this soup! I just wonder with the detox, won’t all that citrus give you stomach aches? I sometimes already have that when eating too many oranges on an empty stomach, so was just wondering if that didn’t effect you…
    I would never have guessed this soup was Lithuanian based but then again I’ve only been to Lithuania once for work ages ago and the memory I have of the food there is… pig ears.. ;)

    • When did you visit Lithuania (and which places? Vilnius, I presume?)??? I’m afraid we tend scare people with foods like pig ears (never liked them though…)
      Concerning the detox, I didn’t have any stomach aches, maybe because they were mixed with water, so it wasn’t very acid…

  14. Wow, the color is just stunning. And as a huge fan of beets, I know I would adore your soup :)

  15. Bravo on the detox! Sounds like you are doing great! I hear from many people about feeling energized during a detox. Unfortunately for me, I don’t. Maybe all my extra energy turns into anger about not being able to eat what I want :-). But still the feeling After the detox is great :-), so it’s good once in a while.

    Love your beet soup. Reminds me of my mom’s soup, with the egg and the cucumber on top. I should try this recipe – I can tell that it’s going to be delicious!

    p.s. hope to see you back on RecipeNewZ.

    • You know, I was bowl of sunshine while detoxing, but then I just try to stay away from people for a while and keep myself busy with things!

  16. I’m thinking of trying your detox “diet” for a day or two. I usually do just veggies (mostly beet and celery) and fruit juice, but citrus juice for a whole day doesn’t sound bad at all!

    And the pink soup, perfect after drinking lemony-grapefruit juice ;)

    • Wow, living on beet and celery, that’s impressive (especially since both veggies do not rank very high on like-ability list)! The citrus one is very simple you need juice from 3 lemons, 6 grapefruits and the rest oranges to come to 2 liters of liquid, then top it with 2 other litres and that’s your daily dose :)

  17. Hi!
    I’m so thrilled I’ve seen this – Reminds me of a polish soup I had (Chłodnik) when I was little! I will definitely try this recipe because it looks a little bit more intricate and the flavour profile should suit my tastebuds!

    • I think this could be called a very very close relative of Chlodnik, because a lot of ingredients are similar indeed :)

  18. I used to be against detox as hippy hocus pocus until I did one. You’re right, you feel so good when your body is getting a chance to properly clean itself out! Absolutely stunning soup! I’m its equally delicious :)

  19. Really interesting info about the detox. Doesn’t sound like fun, but obviously it has some benefits. And the soup looks spectacular. Beets get a bad rap – it took me ages to warm up to them, too. But they’ve got such great flavor, I just love them. Good post – thanks.

  20. I am the non-Lithuanian spouse and I LOVE this soup. I try to make it at least a few times for my Lithuanian hubby during the summer. We’ve had it in Lithuania as well, where it is out of this world delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I will try it!

  21. Wow what a fantastic soup. Healthy and colorful. I cant remember seeing such a beautiful color with food. I’m saving this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  22. Hi……I would like to know more of your detox, I need to do it to.
    How many day you did it?
    I’m a big fan of the beet soup, making all the time, and in winter I did makink the warm version, with meet and other vegis.
    Thank you again.

    • Hi, this type of detox can be done from 1 to 3 days. I’ve lasted only 2, afterwards it becomes a bit tough. One note, I did have this prescribed by a doctor, and citrus detox is quite extreme, so do be careful and perhaps start with 1 day and see how it goes from there.
      p.s. so happy you’ve like the beet soup. :)
      p.p.s. sorry for the late reply, caught me on the holiday season…

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