Rassolnik is a salty sour soup. In Russia cucumber brine was used as a base for various dishes already in the Middle Ages. The main difference between brine-based dishes is the amount and concentration of the brine. The most popular brine-based dishes are Solyanka and Rassolnik.

Rassolnik is a mild soup. It can be made only of vegetables or with giblets (chicken liver, gizzard and heart) as well as with beef or veal innards. If you add meat, choose lean beef. The proper combination of herbs is very important for Rassolnik.

Rassolnik shouldn’t taste too sour or salty. It is necessary to get the right proportion between neutral vegetables (carrots, beets, etc.) and salty ingredients (cucumber pickles and brine).

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
3-4 pickled cucumbers (opt. some brine)
1 potato
1 carrot
1 turnip
3 tbsp buckwheat, rice or barley
1 parsnip (root and green)
2 onions
1 green onion
1 celery (root and some green)
1 bunch parsley
8 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp fresh dill (finely chopped)
1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon (finely chopped)
25 g butter
100 ml (=1/2 cup) sour cream

Rassolnik (vegetarian) - step by step

Meat Rassolnik

250-300 g (= 9-10,5 oz) beef or veal kidneys
3 pickled cucumbers
100 ml (= 1/2 cup) brine
2 tbsp barley
2-3 potatoes
1 carrot
1 onion
1 parsnip (root and green)
1 celery (root and some green)
3 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
1 tbsp dill
100 ml (=1/2 cup) sour cream


  1. Wash kidneys, peel off the outer membrane and remove fat. To make beef kidney milder soak it in salted water for 6-8 hours (change water several times). (Veal kidney is naturally milder.) Put kidney in fresh boiling water and cook for 30 minutes. Drain and cut kidneys into fine slices.
  2. Wash barley in cold water, add boiling water and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  3. Wash, peel and cut vegetables into fine pieces.
  4. Bring 1.5 litre (=6-7 cups) water to boil. Simmer kidneys, barley, carrot, parsnip, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns for 20 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Peel pickled cucumbers. Pour 150-200 ml (=1 cup) boiling water over cucumber skins and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove the skins.
  6. Cut peeled cucumbers into small pieces. Put them in the pan with the liquid and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  7. Add celery and parsnip green and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  8. Add cooked pickled cucumbers with liquid. Check for taste. If Rassolnik is not salty enough, carefully add brine to taste.
  9. Serve with lots of sour cream.

Poultry Rassolnik is cooked like meat Rassolnik.

  • Use rice with chicken or turkey innards (for giblets of two chickens take 3 tbsp of rice and 4 pickled cucumbers).
  • Use barley with goose or duck innards (appr. same amount of grain and pickled cucumbers).

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