Botwinka Fish Soup

Botwinka soup got its name from botwiny, a Slavic word meaning beetroot leaves or cuttings. The Lithuanian name for this summer dish is lapienė, but this was made not only from beetroot leaves, but also from various wild plants, such as hogweed, docks or nettles.

What is the difference between borscht and botwinka? Borscht was made with pickled beetroots that were only dug out in autumn and were eaten until spring, whereas summer botwinka was made with fresh beetroot leaves and stems (even though they were sometimes carefully pickled as well).

You will need:

  • 1 bunch young beetroots with leaves
  • 1 cube vegetable broth or water
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 L kefir or soured milk
  • 1 bunch dill, chopped
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • salt to taste
  • pepper
  • 200 g boiled salmon or sturgeon fillet


  1. Wash the beetroot well, then peel and cut it into cubes, together with the stems and leaves. Put the chopped beetroot in a pot.
  2. Add the vegetable broth or water to the beetroot and greens. There should be enough water or broth to cover the beetroot and greens. Boil the soup for about 15 minutes and then remove from the heat; add the lemon juice and leave the pot to cool.
  3. When everything has cooled, add the kefir, dill, chives, celery, radish, horseradish and garlic juice. Season with salt and pepper. Chill well.
  4. Before serving, crumble large pieces of the boiled fish fillet into the soup.

This information was shared by Alexander Bely.

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