Recipe #14: Chłodnik

May 27, 2017

While many people are familiar with Borscht (or Barszcz) – the hearty beetroot-based soup of Eastern European origin – its summer counterpart is probably a bit less known around these parts. Poles are huge on chilled summertime soups, and this is one of the most revered – and not solely for its appetizingly bright fuschia color.


Chłodnik (meaning “the cooler” in Polish) is a cold variation of the more prolific hot borscht. Although both are made with beets as the main ingredient, they are are otherwise prepared and served differently. If you like beets or are in the mood for a new kitchen experiment, here’s how it works.


Half a jar of pickled baby beets
1 cucumber (seedless)
2 hard-boiled eggs
Half a container of buttermilk
1 bouillion cube dissolved in a little hot water
Chopped dill + scallions


Chop the beets, eggs and cucumber into small – roughly 1/4″ thick – cubes and toss into a pot or large bowl. Add the buttermilk, bouillion and herbs and stir everything up so it gets well acquainted. Let chill in the refrigerator for a while or serve as is. The soup will keep in the fridge for a few days and is best served cold.