Hot Summer, Cool Soups: Cold Beet Soup Šaltibarščiai, Potato and Leek Soup Bulvių ir Svogūnų Sriuba, Cool Cucumber Soup Šalta Agurkų Sriuba, Cherry Soup With Dumplings Vyšnių Sriuba su Leistinukais (Kleckučiais)

with Dana Siliūnas.



4 cups ice-cold water
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups canned, diced or 3-4 fresh beets, boiled and peeled
2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
2 had-boiled eggs, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsps. fresh dill
Pinch sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together water, buttermilk and sour cream. Add beets, cucum ber and eggs to milk mixture. Season to taste; add dill. Best if chilled before serving.

Note: This favorite Lithuanian summer soup is the ultimate in refreshment on hot days. Must be served with warm boiled potatoes! Topped with the sinful but ever-delicious Lithuanian garnish of diced bacon sauteed with chopped onion, this soup is a complete meal (although your grandmother would not agree).

Vyšniu sriuba su leistinukais (kleckuciais)

3 (16-ounce) cans pitted red tart cherries, drained
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. lemon rind

In stock pot, combine cherries with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. While sim m ering, slowly add dum pling dough, one teaspoon at a time. Let the soup simmer 10 more minutes. Serve cold or hot with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Dumpling dough
3-4 Tbsps. flour
2 Tbsps. water
1 egg, well-beaten
Pinch o f salt

Combine above ingredients to make a sticky dough. Drop teaspoons of dough into simmering fruit soup to form dumplings.

Note: This soup may be made with various fruits such as apples, prunes, plums or blueberries.

The above two recipes are from the book Treasures of Lithuanian Cooking published by the Resurrection Parish Catholic Women’s League of Toronto, Canada.

Šalta agurku sriuba

2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, coarsely chopped
3 hothouse cucumbers (unpeeled), coarsely chopped
1 bunch fresh dill, ferns chopped, stems reserved
6 cups vegetable broth or defatted chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely diced (peeled) hothouse cucumber

Place the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until wilted. Add the unpeeled cucumbers and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes longer. Tie the dill stems together with
kitchen string and add to the pot along with the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes or until cucumbers are tender. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped dill and cool the soup to room temperature. Remove dill stems; discard. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Remove the soup to a bowl and stir in the cream, 2 tablespoons of the chopped dill and the finely diced cucumber. Chill the soup for at least 4 hours. Garnish the soup with any remaining chopped dill.

Note: Hothouse cucumbers—the long, thin variety—are preferred. They are seedless and the flavor is more intense.

Bulviu ir svogunu sriuba

5 cups chicken broth
4 medium-size all-purpose (not baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
6 leeks (white part only), cut into 1/2-inch slices, washed and chopped OR 1 more medium size yellow onion, chopped
1 cup milk OR half-and-half OR 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. oregano, dried OR fresh salt and pepper
Garnish: 2 Tbsps. fresh parsley, chopped
Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the potatoes, onions, and leeks, if using. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree the soup in batches, in a blender or with a blender tool right in the pot. Once all the soup is blended, add the milk (or half-and-half or cream) and oregano. Reheat on low, uncovered, so the milk does not boil. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley before serving. Serve hot or cold.