Lithuanian Cold Soup (Chłodnik)


1 liter (4 cups) buttermilk, plain kefir or plain yogurt
100 ml (~3/4 cup) crème fraiche or sour cream (optional)
3 beets (around 300-350 g), washed and dried (for baking)
2 beets (around 200 g), peeled, washed and cut into slices
5-6 stalks of young beets, washed and cut into halves
2 handfuls of young beets’ leaves, washed and chopped
3 small size pickling cucumbers or 1 medium cucumber, peeled, washed and chopped into very small cubes (around 200 g)
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or 100 ml Polish-style sour beet concentrate or sour cucumbers’ juice, but it is not so easy to buy) (optional)
8 to 10 hard boiled quail’s eggs (or 4 regular hard boiled eggs)
120 g crayfish meat or shrimp (optional)
A pinch or two powdered sugar


Preheat your oven until 180 degrees.
Place 3 beets in the oven and bake them until soft, for about 30 to 40 minutes depending on their size (check if they are baked with a fork).
Remove the beets from the oven, let them cool down completely, peel them and cut them into cubes or slices and put aside.
In the meantime, in a pan, bring to a boil about 500 ml of water. Add the remaining raw beets and stalks and cook until completely soft. The beets broth will have a deep, nice color. A last, add the beet’s leaves to the broth and cook for another 5 minutes. You should have about 250 to 300 ml of broth.
Strain the broth, throw away the beets and, eventually, stalks (at least I do not eat cooked stalks, because I do not like them). Reserve the leaves. Let the liquid cool down completely.
In a large bowl, mix buttermilk with cream.
Add chopped cucumbers, beets leaves, dill and chives. Mix everything.
Then start to add slowly little by little the beets broth, mixing and controlling the color and texture of the soup.
Add the sour beet base or red vinegar (should you want to use any), season with salt, pepper, sugar and mix.
The color of this soup should be intense pink.
The soup should a bit thick, rich in ingredients.
Place the soup in the fridge for at least one hour.
Serve it cold with baked beets, eggs and crayfish meat.
Note: this soup tastes even better when served on the next day.


tomas's picture

This rcp is so wrong. First we boil the beets and never never put in dish beets leaves, only root.
Second whent cooked we slice beets like fry's and marinate them with vinegard and sugar for about 30 min the marinate should be sweet and sour. And you have to cut up hard boiled eg in smal peaces and put it int the dish. When you put beets you shoul add some o marinate in soup to for real cold soup taste. And realy no crayfish. soup tastes best when its fresh and never put any hot ingridients in soup. Oh this soup is eaten whit hot boiled potatos or boiled mashed potatos on the side.

TastyColours's picture

Sorry to say that, but you have no idea what chlodnik litewski is.I advice to check recipes in good cookbooks, before you will write sth completely misleading.

Chlodnik served in Poland is always made from STALKS, LEAVES AND ROOTS of young beets - that is why we use young "botwinka" . ALWAYS.

WE DO NOT MARINADE THE BEETS for Chlodnik - NEVER. I advise to check Polish cookbook published in Poland.

CRAYFISH was traditionally added as a luxury accompaniment - check in such book as Monatowa - Ochorowicz - published more than 100 ago.

NOWADAYS, crayfish is expensive and that is why people do not add it so often. But in restaurants one can find them from time to time.

tomas's picture

have you tryed lithuanian could soup ? :)

TastyColours's picture

before you starts to criticize a recipe, which is in my family since few generations, I would advise to read carefully a post where I present the history of the soup and how it came to Poland.
Probably you would find out that I present the Polish version of chilled soup.
I stress: I write how it is made in Poland - not in Lithuania. I write about Polish cooking and this is how this soup is made in Poland, not how it is prepared in Lithuania.
The soup came to Poland hundred years ago. Now; it is one of the most popular soups in Poland. The name "chlodnik litewski" remained to remember of its origins, but Polish preparation is different than Lithuanian, and to this extent I can say that now it is sui generis Polish soup.
In France, there exist a dish called Cauliflower Polish Style, although it has nothing to do how we prepare cauliflower in Poland. And so on...


“Chłodnik litewski” (in direct translation from Polish - “Lithuanian cold soup”), is a soup traditionally eaten cold and which is always served in Poland in summertime. It is made from young beets, their leaves and stalks, sour milk (buttermilk or kefir), freshly chopped herbs and some raw chopped vegetables. This absolutely tasty and vivid pink cold soup, in its today’s "luxury" version served with crayfish tails and quails’ eggs, is not less original and tasty than internationally known cold soups, for example Spanish Gazpacho. It is totally refreshing; slightly acid and having an extremely pink color. In summertime, in Poland, one can taste its more rustic version everywhere, meaning in every canteen, cheap and fast restaurants and other more sophisticated places as well. It is a huge, huge pity, that the soup is not known anywhere else in the world. Well, why is this soup called “Lithuanian”? Probably because it came ages ago from Lithuania.





Monday, August 9, 2010 - 1:03pm


Related Cooking Videos