Lithuanian Pink Soup for a Special Occasion – With Caviar, Jalapeños, Capers, and Horseradish
Prep:25 m
Cook:10 m
Total:35 m
Cuisine:Lithuanian 🇱🇹 Hangover Cure
Course:Starter Lunch Snack

Lithuanian Pink Soup for a Special Occasion – With Caviar, Jalapeños, Capers, and Horseradish



The pink soup really does have a special place in my heart. Perhaps that’s the reason why I’ve experimented with it more than with any other dish.

Its origin is highly questionable: is it Lithuanian, Polish, Belorussian, Latvian, or maybe Ukrainian? Russians say it’s Russian because that’s what they say about anything. Look into the history of vodka. I’m sure Russians invented the pizza too. OK, back to the topic. In the Baltics, it’s only common in Lithuania and Latvia. I’ve looked at some research, and it seems that it’s been created in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, somewhere in the territory of current Ukraine. Long story short, it’s definitely Lithuanian. Even Poles call “chłodnik litewski” (“Lithuanian cold soup”). Surprisingly, some Russians do too (“Холодный литовский борщ”).

A few years ago, I went as far as creating a Facebook group dedicated to the meal. When you’re eating something so often, you certainly want to share it online. And we all know – if you haven’t shared it on social media, you haven’t eaten it.

In this group, its members and I have tried the soup with many ingredients that are quite far away from the classic ones. Horseradish, mustard, pickled cucumbers were only just the beginning. Jalapeños, capers, pulled pork, caviar – this is where things get interesting.

Unusual ingredients aside, we also discuss other important topics – eggs or no eggs? Is dipping the potatoes into the soup a yes or a no? Do you eat the soup straight away, after an hour, or the following day?

I won’t be advising on how and when to eat the soup – it’s totally your call. But today, I want to share a celebratory version with tried and tested experimental ingredients.

There are many ingredients, sure, so I’m not suggesting you should do this every day. But why not take this Lithuanian favorite into a new level and serve for a special occasion, like your birthday?

The main secret of tasty pink soup is performing each step carefully and with love – allowing the veggies to sit together, chopping everything properly, perfecting the amount of sourness.


  • 2 l thick and fat kefir;
  • 0,5 l buttermilk or Ayran;
  • 2 finely chopped short cucumbers;
  • 1 finely chopped pickle;
  • dill;
  • spring onions;
  • 1 jar pickled beetroot (ideally – granny’s signature);
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish;
  • 1 tablespoon mustard;
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice;
  • 1 tablespoon caper juice;
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño juice;
  • salt;
  • black pepper

For serving (2 portions):

  • 1 hard-boiled egg (I put mine into boiling water and boil for 8 minutes);
  • 2 teaspoons red caviar (choose the ones you like best or the ones you can afford);
  • 2 radishes;
  • 1 finely chopped short cucumber;
  • 2 teaspoons capers;
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeño peppers;
  • dill;
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar of choice;
  • salt;
  • sugar

Steps for the base:

  1. First, prepare your greens as they need some time to marinate. Finely chop spring onions and dill. Grind the greens with salt (mortar and pestle are ideal for this). Stir together with both fresh and pickled cucumbers. Allow to sit for an hour or at least as much time as it takes to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Add the beetroot, horseradish, mustard, pickle, caper, and jalapeño juices into a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
  3. Add buttermilk or Ayran, kefir, blended beetroot, and the greens you’ve prepared into a big bowl. By now, the greens should have released a lovely smell and some juice – you must absolutely put it into the soup. Season with salt and a little black pepper. Stir well. Put the bowl into the refrigerator for an hour or until you have your potatoes and other ingredients ready.

Steps for the decor:

These additional delicacies aren’t just for a lovely view. They will give the soup both some freshness and crispiness. It’s super important if you’ll be eating the soup on the following day or are going for a celebratory look.

  1. Thinly slice the radishes and marinate them with vinegar, salt, and sugar. They will get an extra punch of flavor in a couple of minutes and will keep well in the refrigerator.
  2. Do the same with a finely chopped cucumber.
  3. Serving: you can either serve each ingredient in a separate bowl and allow your guests to help themselves. Alternatively, carefully pour the soup into bowls and top it with half an egg, capers, cucumbers, caviar, etc.


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