Cold pink soup
While Morel’s Restaurant and Café has a pretty standard menu over the years, cold pink soup and mooncakes were very recent surprises.
The cold soup is simply delicious, called Šaltibarščiai, or cold borscht with kefir. Lithuanian Cuisine. It is not yet on the normal menu.
Kefir or kephir, is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. The drink originated in the North Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. It’s made by pouring milk over kefir grains, which are a cluster of bacteria and yeast. After about 24 hours, the microorganisms inside the kefir grains multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk.
Šaltibarščiai – cold pink soup
Kefir is not available everywhere, buttermilk with a little bit more lemon juice is a good alternative, or any mix of yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream. This soup is best made ahead, as it needs a few hours to develop more flavor.
- 1 liter kefir
- 2 medium red beets, cooked
- 2-3 green onions, chopped
- salt and pepper
- fresh dill
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 4 hard cooked eggs, peeled
- 4 medium potatoes, cooked and peeled
It is one of the many recipes on the Internet. More, see:
I was a bit surprised to learn that Morel’s is making mooncakes. I checked the packing, pretty ingenious and efficient, two per box. I tasted one of the different varieties and it was a pleasant experience. The outside is not so dry and hard as the normal Chinese ones, it is a bit like croissant, the filling is soft and moist.
A new type of mooncake, approved! For sale, two pieces for RMB 28.