Holodnik – Russian Cold Soup

A must try Russian Cold Holodnik Soup recipe on a hot summer day. Wild looking, but gorgeous! Holodnik is a a little like cold borscht, but tangier.

My stress levels are higher since I started working (naturally I guess), and my funny bone is suffering because of it. I’ll try a joke. Ahem. Two beets walk into a bar…… nope, it’s just not flowing. 🙁

Anyway, about this Holodnik – Russian Cold Soup recipe. It really is this color; a vibrant violet. It’s all in the beets. Gorgeous isn’t it? Wild looking, but gorgeous! Holodnik is a a little like cold borscht, but tangier. I guess its more like Okroshka so if you enjoyed that, you’ll like this too. Oh and the egg is nice. Don’t skip it.

Ingredients for Holodnik:

3 large red beets or 5 small beets
2 quarts water
1 quart buttermilk
1 medium onion or 3 green onions
4 cucumbers
Sea salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
1 bunch dill
4-6 boiled eggs (optional)

Large Cooking pot

How to Make Russian Cold Holodnik Soup:

1. Boil beets, drain, and let them cool. I boiled mine for 35 min and added 1 Tbsp of sugar for extra sweetness. These were fresh beets. Older beets may take up to an hour.

2. Boil 2 quarts of water and let it cool. Mix cooled water with 1 quart of buttermilk in a large pot.

3. Shred beets and add them to the pot with water/buttermilk mixture.

4. Add salt and sugar. I recommend starting with 1 Tbsp salt and adding more to taste, you may like it sweeter or saltier.

5. Next add sliced green onions, dill and diced cucumbers  (Vidalia Chop Wizard worked great for that) to the pot with the rest of the mixture.

6. Place completed soup in the fridge to let it cool completely.

Enjoy it with half of a boiled egg. You can also serve it with a dollop of sour cream.


Holodnik - Russian Cold Soup

4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
A must try Russian Cold Holodnik Soup recipe on a hot summer day. Wild looking, but gorgeous! Holodnik is a a little like cold borscht, but tangier.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $8
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 3 large cooked red beets or 5 small cooked beets
  • 2 quarts boiled cooled water
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 medium onion or 3 green onions
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt or add to taste*
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 4-6 boiled eggs optional

Large Cooking pot

Instructions

  1. Boil beets, drain, and let them cool.
  2. Boil 2 quarts of water and let it cool. Mix cooled water with 1 quart of buttermilk in a large pot.
  3. Shred beets and add them to the pot with water/buttermilk mixture.
  4. Add salt and sugar. *I recommend starting with 1 Tbsp salt and adding more to taste, you may like it sweeter or saltier. 

  5. Next add sliced green onions, dill and diced cucumbers.
  6. Place completed soup in the fridge to let it cool completely.
  7. Enjoy it with half of a boiled egg. You can also serve it with a dollop of sour cream.

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Who says you can’t enjoy soup in summer?

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Pav
    July 23, 2018

    On point! Really quick to make, I kept the water from boiling the beets for the soup water later for a more dramatic effect and less cooking time. I also diced the eggs and tossed them into the soup as well. Worked out fantastic, a genuine old country recipe. Fantastic! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 23, 2018

      It sure is a classic! Thanks for the great review! Reply

  • Elisabeth
    July 22, 2018

    I am confused with the salt proportions, is it really 3Tbsp? Or should it be 3tsp. It turned out way too salty I had to add double the liquid. Reply

    • Natasha
      July 22, 2018

      Hi Elisabeth, I’m so glad you asked! When we switched to the new recipe card, I think it somehow switched tsp to Tbsp. So sorry about that! I updated the recipe card and with this one, I recommend starting with 1 Tbsp salt and adding more to taste, you may like it sweeter or saltier. Reply

      • Elisabeth
        July 23, 2018

        Thank you for your quick response. This soup is delicious! What a great way to remember childhood favorites! Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          July 23, 2018

          You’re welcome! Reply

  • Valentina
    May 10, 2017

    My mom and my aunt always boil potatoes in water and let it cool before adding other ingredients. And ALWAYS added варёную колбасу, докторскую (that’s why I loved it when I was a child) Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 11, 2017

      Yum! That sounds good! Thanks for sharing Valentina 😀 Reply

  • Lisa Fauconnier
    July 15, 2016

    You can add some sliced pink radishes Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 15, 2016

      That sounds great and I’m sure it looks pretty as well! 🙂 Reply

  • Katy
    April 23, 2016

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,delicious
    Mmmmmm,delicious Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 23, 2016

      Thanks Katy! 🙂 Reply

  • caxap
    August 5, 2015

    привет. я из ирана .я кушала это блюдо в минске.оно самое вкусное блюдо во всем мире )).теперь я хочу приготовить его семьи в иране.спасибо большое что вы так хорошо обяснили как можно приготовить его♥ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 5, 2015

      I hope you enjoy it! 🙂 Reply

  • Natalya
    May 9, 2015

    My absolute favorite!!! So good on a hot summer’s day! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 9, 2015

      It is a great way to cool down in summer. 🙂 Reply

  • Sandra
    January 3, 2014

    I use natural yogurt instead of butter milk and milk instead of Water. Thicker texture and taste much better 🙂 love this soup on hot summer days 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 3, 2014

      Oooh good idea! I’ll have to give it a try! Reply

  • GD
    August 4, 2013

    Nice recipe. I made it today! Reply

  • Olga
    May 28, 2013

    I want to add cooked potates to my holodnik, will I mess it up? Thanks, for all your recipes, Natasha! When I’m not sure what to cook, I get on your website and am always happy with the outcome! =) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 28, 2013

      Hmm I haven’t tried that but it works for the other summer soup I have posted so I don’t see why not 😉 Reply

    • Tatyana
      August 21, 2014

      We usually eat it alongside a hot potato, barely able to hold it in our hand. Spoonful of cold soup and a bite of hot potato…mmmm. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        August 21, 2014

        That’s something I haven’t tried before :). Tatyana, are you referring to potato “в мундире”? Reply

    • Irina
      July 13, 2016

      add fried potato – it’ll be really good!!! Reply

  • tanya
    February 23, 2013

    hi natasha u are so good quick ? do u eat this holdnik cold or hot Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 23, 2013

      Thank you Tanya. Holodnik should be eaten cold and best during warm weather months :). Reply

  • Tanya
    August 27, 2012

    I’ve never tried this before and never had cold soup so this was an interesting meal but this was so delicious, everyone loved it. I made it with plain kefir instead of buttermilk and plain Greek yogurt. Thank you for sharing the recipe and for all the time and effort you put into your blog, I have loved every single dish that I’ve made from your blog! Thank You! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 27, 2012

      Yay!!!! That’s music to my ears 😀 Reply

      • Gita
        July 13, 2013

        Has anyone who has made the soup with both buttermilk and plain kefir written about which one is better for the soup? I am ready to make it, but would like to know which of the milk products to buy.
        In either case, the soup sounds marvelously delicious – but which tastes better??

        Gita Reply

  • August 17, 2012

    Thanks for posting this recipe and for adding such awesome step-by-step photos!! I’m living in Ukraine now and trying to cook with local ingrediants and this meal is perfect! There is a pot of holodnik cooling off in the fridge right now. Your website is going to be a great resource for our future meals : ) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 17, 2012

      Thank you very much Katherine, you made me smile. 😀 Reply

  • Fantastic soup color! I heve never tried something similar in my life! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 17, 2012

      Its all in the beets 🙂 Reply

  • Irene
    August 10, 2012

    This soup is the best!!!!!!! W e had always enjoyed it with baked potatoe, its delicious!!!!!!!!!!! Reply

  • Jasmina
    August 8, 2012

    My grandmother made a similar version of this soup. I’d forgotten about it until I saw your post. Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 8, 2012

      This soup is very good to eat during such a hot weather 🙂 Reply

  • Elena
    August 7, 2012

    We always add radishes to our Holodnik 😉 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 7, 2012

      That’s a great idea, I will try it next time 🙂 Tnx for the tip Reply

  • Hope
    August 7, 2012

    my mom makes holodnik barely ever but i enjoy it!!!:) Reply

  • jelena
    August 7, 2012

    Mmm! i love this soup, so refreshing! i always make it with plain Kefir, instead of buttermilk! But im going to try tis way as well! Funny thing, when i make it, my husband always says ;”here comes liquid salad!”!!! But i love it! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 7, 2012

      Liquid salad 🙂 ha! Where do you get plain kefir? I’ve only seen the flavored ones. Reply

      • jelena
        August 7, 2012

        I get it pretty much at any supermarket near me (i live in NJ), its made by LIFEWAY brand, they make plain and flavored ones.Also ive seen it in a russian specialty stores. I bought buttermilk today, so going to make it your way!! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 7, 2012

          I’ll be on the lookout for it. Thank you 🙂 Reply

      • Tatiana
        January 5, 2013

        Buy Kefir grains on Amazon … I’m in Australia, and we are making our own kefir . Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          January 5, 2013

          Amazon makes shopping so much more convenient :). Reply

  • Zina
    August 6, 2012

    My mother always made this soup in the summer….so refreshing and delish! She did not add water but served with ice cubes…..ah, such memories. Thanks for posting so others can enjoy it. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 6, 2012

      Ice cubes sound fun. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Reply

  • August 6, 2012

    I just wrote about okroshka… I guess it’s the weather! Someone asked me about hlodnik but I wasn’t sure what it was. Definitely need to try this one. Reply

  • Inna K
    August 6, 2012

    YAYYYYYY I WAS SOOO HAPPY WHEN I SAW THIS THANK YOU SO MUUUCH SO EXCITED FINNAAAALLLYY WILL TRY IT DIDT TRUST THE OTHER SITES FOR IT.
    WHAT EXACTLY IS IT SUPPOSE TO TASTE LIKE? (NEVER MADE IT BEFORE AND REALLY DONT WANT TO TRY IT BUT WILL MAKE IT FOR HUBBY)
    THANK YOU!
    P.S. I HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER AND STRESS GOES DOWN!:) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 6, 2012

      Have you had Okroshka before? Its kind of salty and sweet at the same time, best eaten fresh, but can be stored up to a week. Thank you Inna. Reply

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