Okroshka

Recipe for cold summer soup

Okroshka

Okroshka (russian: окрошка) – a refreshing soup with kvass and vegetables – is a nourishing and thirst-quenching dish on hot summer days.

Ingredients (serves 4)
2 eggs
2 small garden cucumbers
2 new potatoes (boiled in their skins and peeled)
150 g (=5 oz) green (spring) onions
1/2 bunch radishes
1 tsp sharp mustard
1 tbsp sugar
1 bunch dill
100 ml (=1/2 cup) sour cream
1.5 l (=6 cups) kvass
salt and horseradish (to taste)
For meat okroshka:
200 g (=7 oz) cooked beef or veal (or cooked sausages or ham)
100 g (=3.5 oz) salted mushrooms
For fish okroshka:
200 g (=7 oz) fish (salted, smoked or cooked in salted water)
3 pickled cucumbers

Making okroshka is easy.

  • just finely chop the ingredients
  • add kvass and serve

But okroshka is a traditional dish which was developed over the centuries. To get the right flavour it is important to follow some simple rules.

1. Ingredients

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There are so many different recipes that one might think okroshka can be made almost of everything. But this is not quite correct. Basically there are three different types of okroshka: vegetable, meat and fish okroshka. Every okroshka must contain green (spring) onions, fresh garden cucumbers, hard boiled eggs and dill. New potatoes don’t just taste good, they also make an okroshka really nourishing. Also radishes are an important ingredient.

For a meat okroshka use cooked meat or sausages. It tastes great with pickled or salted mushrooms, for example with honey agarics. Game and poultry are not that good for okroshka.

A fish okroshka is traditionally made with salted or smoked fish. Herring and mackerel are especially popular. Pickled cucumbers give this okroshka its special taste.

Note:
All ingredients should be chopped finely. The word ‘okroshka’ derives from the Russian крошка [kroshka] (crumb) and means “made of crumbs“.

2. Dressing

Traditionally okroshka is made with kvass – a bread drink. Bottled kvass that is sold in many Russians shops is usually too sweet for okroshka. Real okroshka is prepared with homemade
kvass which is quite sour. Sour cream gives okroshka the right mild taste.

Okroshka can also be prepared with kefir, malt beer, dry cider, buttermilk or whey.

Directions

  1. Hard boil the eggs, cool quickly using cold water, remove shells and separate egg whites from yolks. Mash yolks in a bowl. Add mustard, sugar, 1/2 cup of kvass, salt and horseradish. Mix well until smooth.
  2. Finely chop green onions and mix well with some salt. Finely chop egg whites and other ingredients.
  3. Mix everything well together in a bowl, add 500 ml kvass, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  4. Add sour cream before serving and sprinkle with dill. Serve some kvass separately, so that everyone can pour it over their okroshka to taste.

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