Recipe: Cold Borscht with Kefir

Hot borscht soup, originating in Europe, contains beets as well as hearty chunks of beef and beef bone broth. It is often served topped with sour cream and dill. This cold borscht, perhaps of Lithuanian origin, is less familiar in North America, but has many of the same lovely colors and flavors as the hot beef borscht. Serve this on a hot day for a cool, refreshing, enzyme-rich soup. The potato can be added to the soup before serving or served alongside the soup.


  • 1½ lbs. pounds fresh beets
  • 1 large cucumber, skinned
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 5 small scallions
  • ¼ cup hopped fresh dill
  • 4 cups milk kefir
  • water (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sour cream (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • 4 medium potatoes, boiled or baked until tender


  1. Roast beets at 375°F until fork-tender. Remove from oven and cool until able to be handled. Peel beets; chop finely. Add to a large bowl.
  2. Finely chop cucumber, eggs, and scallions and add to beets. Add chopped dill.
  3. Pour kefir over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. For a thinner soup, add water, up to 1 quart, and adjust seasoning as necessary. For a thicker soup, add 1-2 tablespoons sour cream and mix well.
  5. Chill at least 20 minutes before serving. To serve, either dice the potatoes and add them to the soup or serve on the side.