Auksta “Zupas” and Latvian Pink SoupLatin 

Zupas Latvia, a small Baltic country, celebrated its most significant national holiday, the summer solstice celebration Ligo. Ligo, pronounced “leegwa”, is a pagan tradition which has survived through many occupations. It is a simple holiday that is celebrated more than Christmas. Lettuce And celebrate the shortest night of the year by wearing flower crowns and heading out into the countryside to light a fire and drink lots of beer, and then staying up until the morning to greet the rising sun.

Auksta zupas is Latvian for “pink soup”, and it’s a popular dish on hot summer days. It is a colourful feast of summer favorites. You can either serve it in a single bowl or as a buffet with all the ingredients in separate dishes so each person can make their own soup. Some soups are served with the entire ingredients grated finely, while others have the ingredients chunky. It’s up to you! It is refreshing and healthy. This Zupas recipe is adapted from Samara Chadwick, a Co-op member. It serves 6-8 people. You can adjust the amount to suit your own needs. You can substitute or omit ingredients depending on what you have in your fridge.

zupas Ingredints:

  • 4 medium potatoes, cooked and peeled
  • 4 eggs, hardboiled and peeled
  • 1 cucumber
  • Pickles of 4-6 dill
  • Radishes
  • Scallions or chives
  • 2 cups grated pickled beets zupas (if purchased at a store)
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 1/2 Gallon Kefir (or 1 1/2 Cups plain yogurt thinned in 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to your liking


Slice the pickles, cucumbers and radishes into thin, thin zupas strips. Finely chop the eggs and potatoes. Finely chop the scallions, chives, and the dill. If the pickled beets aren’t already grated, chop or grate them. The beet brine should be kept aside.

If the soup is to be served in a large bowl, mix the kefir, beet brine, horseradish, mustard and the soup. Whisk well. Mix in the pickles, radishes and potatoes. Add half of the chopped egg, half of the chopped dill, and the cucumbers. The other halves can be used as garnish. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the soup with the rest of the chopped egg and dill. Alternately arrange the ingredients in separate dishes. Invite your guests to make their soups in their own bowls.



  • Beets weighing approximately 2 lb
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon bark + caraway seeds
  • 3-4 tablespoons 9 percent vinegar
  • 4 cups of water


Boil the beets to soften. Let cool until they are easy to peel. Slice finely, julienne or grate coarsely. Bring water to boil. Add all spices, except vinegar and cumin. Boil the mixture for 5-10 minutes. Strain the vinegar through a sieve.

The grated beets should be placed in jars. Sprinkle with cumin and then fill the jars with the hot brine. Turn the jars upside down for 1 hour. If you have boiled the jars, the beets can keep for several weeks. They will be ready for Auksta zupas in a matter of hours, but you can also use them immediately. Make sure to save the pickling salt for the soup.