Project Cold Soup # 2: Kholodnik (Cold Beet Soup)

There are many variations of this recipe in Russian cuisine. This soup is also known under different names (like svekolnik, but please please please don’t call it cold borsch because it is not!) I’m posting a vegetarian version here but my Mom traditionally makes it with either diced bologna or (diced) boiled hotdogs.

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 large or 2 small beet roots, washed and trimmed of any stems
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, washed but not peeled (that’s the authentic way)
  • a bunch of fresh dill
  • 2 sprigs of scallions (both white and green parts)
  • salt to taste
  • sour cream for serving


Place beets in a large pot and fill it with cold water. The water should cover the beets completely. Add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot but leave a small gap for the hot steam to escape, and cook for 45-50 minutes. Some water will evaporate but you can add more boiled water to the pot once the beets are cooked.

Once cooked, take out the beets and let both the beets and the water cool down before refrigerating them (you can do this in the morning if you are serving the soup for dinner, or at night so you can refrigerate the soup overnight).

Peel the beets and grate them on a large grater into the soup. Check the seasoning, add more salt if needed.

Dice the eggs and the cucumbers, chop the herbs and mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Spoon out some of the egg mixture into a bowl, ladle some soup with the beets in it, add a tablespoon of sour cream and enjoy!


3 thoughts on “Project Cold Soup # 2: Kholodnik (Cold Beet Soup)

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