Our lovely friends from Lithuania (Lietuva) have awakened my interest in their apparently beautiful little country situated in Northern Europe. It has a Baltic Sea coastline in the west and is surrounded by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east, Poland to the southwest, and Russia‘s exclave, the Kaliningrad Oblast, to the west.
Lithuania is justly proud of its unfailing treasures of folklore: colorful clothing, meandering songs, sonorous dialects and voluble language, and to me so it seems an abundance of delicious foods and dishes. We have had the great pleasure to have tasted a few already, and one of them – a “Lithuanian-type cold soup”, traditionally served in the hot summer days along with hot (!) potatoes, roasted in the oven, inspired me to give it a try myself.
My interpretation of Gyte’s recipe is inspired by the traditional Spanish Gazpacho, but uses a variety of different vegetables, herbs and spices, not a single tomato, and – similar to its Andalusian sister it is essential to serve it – ice cold:
Ingredients (2 Servings):
- 1/2 cucumber (peeled and diced)
- 2 small beet roots (cooked and peeled, alternatively raw and grated)
- 1 small clove of garlic
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 few peppermint (or dill) leafs
- 2 tbsp full-fat greek yoghurt (10%), or any plant-based yoghurt of your choice (the greek yoghurt makes a huge difference though!)
- 1 pinch of black pepper, salt
- optional: a pinch of cayenne or chili flakes
- 1 small cup of ice cubes (for the extra chill factor)
- Sparkling water (to liquidize to your liking)
- Place all ingredients (except for the sparkling water) into a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. If necessary add some sparkling water to adjust the liquidity. Serve with toasted baguette, sprinkled with some olive oil and sea salt on top.
- If you haven’t got a blender, it’s essential to finely grate the vegetables and the garlic. Then add to spices, yoghurt, lemon juice and liquids, stirring it thoroughly through before you add the ice cubes. Decorate with a few herbs, and enjoy immediately!