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Chilled Beet & Buttermilk Soup

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Easy and quick
Chilled beet and buttermilk soup | Something New For Dinner I developed this Chilled Beet and Buttermilk Soup after experimenting with Melissa Clark’s Chilled Corn and Buttermilk Soup recipe. Beets work well as they are delicious cold and have a strong enough flavor to take on tart buttermilk.

Inspiration for Creating New Recipes

Now that I have been blogging on SNFD for 10 years and have developed hundreds of new recipes, I have learned that it is really hard to come up with something truly original. For instance, I thought to make this beet soup because I liked the Chilled Corn and Buttermilk Soup recipe published by Melissa Clark so much that I began thinking about what other ingredients would complement buttermilk. Beets were the first thing I thought of.

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As I worked on this recipe I decided to add cucumber garnish for crunch. As I wrote up the recipe I did a quick google search and found that chilled beet and buttermilk soup is a traditional Eastern European soup. I have found Russian and Polish versions under the names Kholdnyk, Holodnik and Chlodnik. Most of these recipes garnish the soup with a boiled egg. To me a boiled egg is a little heavy for this light and refreshing soup, but might be nice if you are looking to make something more substantial.

Beautiful Beet Colors

Chilled beet and buttermilk soup | Something New For Dinner Beets come in an array of colors from yellow to orange to deep pink, giving you a palate of color to choose from when you make this soup. Chilled beet and buttermilk soup | Something New For Dinner I've made this Chilled Beet and Buttermilk soup with both golden beets and red beets. For a dazzling presentation, make two soups: one with yellow or orange beets and a second batch with red beets. Then serve the two soups side-by-side in the same glass or bowl. To learn how to do this see my post on Method for Serving Two Soups in the Same Bowl.


I am normally a big fan of garlic and generally consider the more garlic in a dish, the better. These buttermilk soups are an exception to this rule. This is a raw soup, so a little garlic goes along way. If you are unsure, start with one clove of garlic and taste the soup, adding another if you want stronger garlic flavor.

Roasting the Beets Is Easy

You can roast the beets in advance if you want. Trim the ends of the beets, rinse in water and wrap in foil. Roasting time will depend on the size of the beet. Smaller beets will be done in 30 minutes and larger beets may take up to an hour. You can tell when the beets are done when they pierce easily with a fork.

Pureeing the Soup

For the smoothest, silkiest soup use a blender. You can use a food processor and it will still be great, just not as silky. Lean on the blender and let it run for several minutes, not just until pureed.

About Buttermilk

Despite its rich and fattening name, buttermilk has fewer calories and less fat than milk. It is rich in calcium, vitamins B, D and electrolytes. Live culture buttermilk replenishes the gut biome. When purchasing your buttermilk look for one that has not been exposed to high heat and contains live and active cultures. Low Heat Pasteurized Buttermilk | Something New For Dinner I like Kalona Super Natural Organic Cultured Reduced Fat Buttermilk.

More Buttermilk Soups

Chilled Corn Buttermilk Soup Print

Chilled Beet and Buttermilk Soup

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  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x


  • 2 pounds beets
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups buttermilk with live cultures
  • 6 green onions, divided
  • 4 T lime juice
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 23 Persian cucumbers, finely diced with peels on
  • Good quality olive oil to drizzle on top
  • Fresh dill or mint for garnish (optional)
  • Edible flowers for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse and scrub beets and wrap in foil while still wet. Roast for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on size of beets. Beets are done when you can easily pierce with a fork. To check doneness, go ahead and pierce them through the foil. When done remove and cool. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off with your fingers, using a paring knife to help you remove any hard spots. The beets may be roasted several days ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
  2. Put beets, garlic, buttermilk, 4 green onions, lime juice and kosher salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Rinse and chill individual serving bowls or glasses. Pour 3/4 – 1 cup soup into each serving bowl. Garnish each bowl with 2 – 3 T diced cucumbers, a sprig of fresh dill and an edible flower.

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