Saltibarsciai (Cold Beet Soup)

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Title: Saltibarsciai (Cold Beet Soup)
Yield: 1 Servings


3 lb Beets
3 qt Water (or 1 1/2 quarts water
-1 1/2 quarts defatted
-chicken stock)
2 c Cucumber (peeled and
1/4 c Fresh dill, chopped fine
1/4 c Distilled white vinegar
1/2 ts Salt (or to taste)
1/8 ts Fresh ground black pepper
-(up to 1/4)
2 c Sour cream

Here are four traditional Lithuanian recipes from my files. ( I run a small
catering business specializing in ethnic foods.) Most of these are family
recipes from Lithuanian friends. I think one is from an old church cookbook
from a church that is predominantly Lithuanian.

~- a Lithuanian rendition of Borscht)

Scrub beets, place in 6 quart stock pot , cover with water or stock-water
mixture and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until they just
start to become tender.

Turn off the heat and remove the beets.

Peel beets. Julienne about 3/4s of the beets, and coarsely grate the

When cooking liquid in stock pot is cool enough to handle, strain through
cheesecloth-lined colander (to remove any grit from the initial cooking)
into a larger -- 8 quart) stock pot. Add grated and julienned beets, 2 cups
of julienned cucumbers and 1/4 cup of chopped dill. Stir in vinegar, salt
and pepper and return to boil. Simmer another 15 minutes and remove from

When the soup has cooled for awhile -- but is still warm -- remove about a
cup of the liquid, place in bowl with 1 pint of sour cream and mix until
smooth, or place in food processor and process until you have a smooth

Return the sour cream-broth mixture to the soup, blend, turn into tureen
and chill.

Serve family style with sautied dilled potatoes and onion

(Peel and cube 2 medium potatoes, dice a medium yellow onion, sauti in corn
oil and butter until tender slightly brown -- put onions in first and, when
transparent, add potatoes. Add 1 tsp of vinegar for flavoring. When
potatoes are tender and lightly browned, turn mixture into serving bowl
with butter-oil-vinegar mixture from the pan, top with a liberal dose of
finely chopped fresh dill and toss, making sure all the potatoes are coated
with the juices and dill.)

Cold soup, warm potatoes and onions. . I believe the tradition is to spoon
some of the potato-onion-dill mix into the soup -- at least that's they way
my friend's family did it. I've seen others, however, who eat the
potato-onion mix separately so provide a plate for that purpose and let
guests do as they choose.

Posted to Recipe Archive - 15 Sep 96

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