Russian cuisine boasts some of the best tasting food going, but sometimes it can seem a little strange to the American palate and the classic Russian dish okroshka is no exception! Okroshka is a Russian summer soup that’s known for its refreshing, heat relieving properties and it’s usually enjoyed on a hot summer’s day. Traditionally, it’s made using a mixture of raw vegetables such as cucumbers, radishes, and onions with cooked ingredients such as potatoes, boiled eggs, sausage, ham, or beef. The soup mixture is made using kvass – a traditional beverage made using fermented rye bread but is also often made using buttermilk or kefir. Unlike many other soups, it’s always served cold! The name okroshka derives from the word kroshit, which means to crumble.
Okroshka was a popular dish among field workers in Russia, who used it for its cooling effect during the long hard summer months. During the Soviet era, it became more popular for people from all walks of life to eat this tasty soup, and variations that include using kefir or buttermilk instead of kvass were developed. Nowadays, it’s still enjoyed as a healthy, refreshing lunchtime meal across Russia, and due to its timeless popularity, it looks like it will be here to stay!
Although it’s hugely popular in Russia, okroshka is relatively unknown outside of the Russian community in the US. However, we believe there’s certainly a place for this tasty dish right here in America! At NetCost Market, we love celebrating food from all over the world, which is why we’ve come up with a quick and easy okroshka recipe that you can make at home!
¼ cup chopped spring onions, ¼ cup chopped dill, 1 small bunch of radishes – cut into slices, 1 small cucumber – peeled and diced, 4 hard boiled eggs – diced, 2 midsize boiled potatoes – diced, meat (either cooked sausage, chopped ham, beef, or fish) – chopped to size, 3 cups plain kefir, 2 cups water, salt and pepper, sour cream (to serve).
How to make:
- In a bowl, combine together the spring onions, dill, radishes, cucumber, eggs, potatoes, and your meat of choice. Note: for a vegetarian version, just skip the meat! This also works very well.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the kefir and water until a good consistency is reached – keep in mind that this is a soup!
- Add the kefir water mixture to the vegetable and meat mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
- Add sour cream when serving.
Whether as a lunchtime snack or as an appetizer at a dinner party, okroshka is a great, refreshing soup for a number of occasions. The great thing about this soup is that it can be easily prepared in large quantities ahead of time and then combined just before serving! For this reason, it makes a great picnic or yard party meal. At NetCost Market, we stock all the ingredients for making the perfect Okroshka, so there’s no better place to visit if you’re looking to make a wonderful summer soup to wow your family and friends.