Top Eastern European Cold Soup Recipes

There's nothing more refreshing on a warm, summer day than a bowl of cold soup! With crusty bread and a green, leafy salad, it can be lunch, an appetizer, or the main feature in a no-cook dinner. There are even some terrific dessert options. Cold soups come in two types—uncooked and chilled, or cooked and chilled. A big plus is that they free the cook from last-minute preparation since they require several hours of chilling and should be made hours or even a day in advance. Serve in chilled...MORE clear bowls or cups for a pretty effect.​​

  • 01 of 09
    Bulgarian Cold Cucumber Soup (Tarator)
    © Barbara Rolek

    Dill also takes a starring role in this Bulgarian cold cucumber soup recipe. But this refresher also features walnuts, garlic, and bread.

  • 02 of 09
    Polish Creamed Beet Soup
    © Barbara Rolek 

    Barszcz is the Polish generic term for any sour soup. Beet barszcz and white barszcz, made with kielbasa-cooking water, are the most common. Beet barszcz is a magenta-colored soup that can be served warm or cold garnished with sour cream, dill and julienned beets, if desired.

  • 03 of 09
    Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup or Saltibarsciai
    ©Barbara Rolek 

    This recipe for cold Lithuanian beet soup or šaltibarščiai is made with buttermilk, sour cream, hard-cooked eggs, cucumbers, and dill. It's refreshing on a hot day. Compare this with Polish cold cucumber-beet soup recipe. Here are more beet recipes.

  • 04 of 09
    Hungarian Cold Sour Cherry Soup
     sf_foodphoto/ Getty Images 

    Hungarian sour cherry soup is traditionally made with tart dark-red Morello cherries, but a tart pie cherry, like fire-engine-red Montmorency cherries, will do in a pinch. In Hungary, cold sour cherry soup is served as a starter course, but in the United States, it often appears as a dessert, like the cold peach soup, below.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Vegetable cream soup
    milanfoto / Getty Images

    This cream of green bean soup recipe can be served hot or chilled. The Hungarian paprika gives it a pleasant pinkish color.

  • 06 of 09
    Peach soup
    Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

    This no-cook cold peach soup recipe can be served as a meal starter or dessert garnished with a dollop of whipped cream, a few diced peaches and a sprig of mint if desired. The wine and apricot brandy add a nice dimension to this dish, but they are completely optional.

  • 07 of 09
    Polish Rhubarb Soup
    © Barbara Rolek 
    Rhubarb is plentiful in Poland, so to find it in soup is not uncommon. In the heat of late spring and early summer, cold rhubarb soup was refreshing for the farmers returning from the fields for a quick noontime meal.
  • 08 of 09
    Polish Cold Cucumber-Beet Soup
    © Barbara Rolek

    Nothing slakes the thirst like buttermilk and this Polish no-cook cold cucumber-beet soup, known as zupa letnia, not only has buttermilk, but sour cream and hard-cooked egg.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Watermelon Gazpacho
    © Barbara Rolek
    What is a Spanish soup doing in a listing of Eastern European dishes? Well, as the world gets smaller due to modern transportation, ethnic cuisine spreads like wildfire. Eastern Europe is on the cutting edge of modern international cuisine and gazpacho is creeping into its repertoire and can be found on the restaurant menus of many major cities.