From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering
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.
- 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 smalldice. (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)
- Mix everything together and chill for 1-2 hours.
- Taste after chilling and add more salt, sugar, pepper or herbs to taste.
- Serve in small cups or bowls with a swirl of additional sour cream in middle of bowl, topped with a shrimp and dill sprig.
- 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.