Cold Shrimp and Cucumber Soup (AKA Šalta Agurkų Sriuba) | BeyondCeliac.org
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Cold Shrimp and Cucumber Soup (AKA Šalta Agurkų Sriuba)

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Cold Shrimp and Cucumber Soup

No cook recipe
Makes 8 dinner party portions

I taught Lithuanian cooking classes for about 10 years, and spent a month at Vilnius University in Lithuania studying in 2005.  This recipe is similar to the cold Borscht (beet) soup I make. I had forgotten about this soup until I saw a recipe in an American book and also from Lithuanian Heritage magazine. I have made it to my taste.  It is very subtle and mild.  [Add more green onion and dill for a more assertive flavor or even a little bit of chopped dill pickle, cucumber relish or capers for more oomph.  It does stay fresh in fridge.

I tried making this dairy-free with Asian coconut milk which I use in many recipes but didn't care for it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and cut into ½ inch pieces.  (Prepare tomatoes by cutting a cross in skin around stem end, pouring boiling water over tomatoes. Leave for 2-3 minutes, drain and cool with cold water.  If tomatoes were wonderfully ripe then skin will just slip off.  Squeeze out seeds and discard.)
  • ½ English/European cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into small dice.  (If you try shredding it in processor, cucumber becomes a mush.)
  • ½ lb. thawed, rinsed and drained cooked salad shrimp
  • 2 cups buttermilk (Lithuanian buttermilk was far tangier and thicker than the version available here. In New Hampshire we can easily buy fresh buttermilk not processed.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped dill
  • ½ bunch green onions, only the green of the leaves scissored into small pieces
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup 100% sour cream  (100% sour cream does make a difference to flavor and that's all they used in Lithuania. If you prefer, you can use light sour cream or Greek yogurt, but the flavor will be affected.)
  • Extra shrimp and dill for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together and chill for 1-2 hours.
  2. Taste after chilling and add more salt, sugar, pepper or herbs to taste.
  3. Serve in small cups or bowls with a swirl of additional sour cream in middle of bowl, topped with a shrimp and dill sprig.

Options:

  • Use crab, fresh salmon flaked, smoked salmon or trout instead of or in addition to shrimp.
  • Stir in more sour cream or crème frâiche
  • Substitute natural yogurt for some of buttermilk for thicker, creamier texture.
  • Buttermilk: Originally this was the liquid residue left after butter making.  Today, it is usually made from pasteurized skim milk that has had a lactic acid culture added to thicken and add flavor. I have found it sold as low fat (1/2% fat) and non-fat cultured buttermilk.

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