This cold Russian summer soup is a super nourishing recipe, loaded with plenty of nutrient rich vegetables, fresh garden herbs and hard boiled eggs. It’s also a refreshing meal on a hot summer day and keeps you well satiated thanks to the added protein of the egg and chicken meat. It’s an easy recipe to make and a healthy alternative to the more common Western salads.
Okroshka is a light, refreshing summer soup made from finely diced cucumbers and radishes, boiled potatoes, onions, and some kind of cooked meat or poultry. The ingredients are tossed together in a broth of kvass (or in later versions, a milk-based fermented drink called kefir). Okroshka is not as heavy as many other soups, making it a good option for hot weather. It is a traditional dish in Russia and other Eastern European countries and is often served as a light lunch or dinner for summer gatherings.
It can be a bit spicy, depending on the type of meat used. Bologna is a popular choice, but we recommend using lean cooked chicken or fully cooked grass fed hot dogs for the healthiest version of this dish.
There are several varieties of this dish, which is also known as shchav or green borscht. Some versions include sorrel, but the most common uses spinach, dandelion greens, garden orach, or chard. The soup is seasoned with salt and pepper, and may be garnished with sliced ham or hard-boiled eggs.
Originally, the ingredients were mixed together uncooked in order to save time and labor on the work boats and barges of the burlaks and other river workers who first invented this dish. Today, it is often made with a more elaborate combination of finely chopped vegetables and ingredients tossed in a dressing of kvass or kefir. It is often served with a piece of dark rye bread on the side.
A simpler version is murtsovka, which is a simple mixture of finely chopped spring onion or chives, pieces of rye bread, salt, and water or kvass. It is a great way to use up leftover rye bread and add some nutrition and probiotics to your diet. This soup is very popular in the Baltic region, and is often served as a light lunch with beer or vodka. It is an especially good way to cool off after a long day on the beach or in the field. It can be eaten with a spoon or ladle, and is usually topped with a generous amount of sour cream. The sour cream makes it extra creamy and tasty. You can serve this dish with a variety of other types of sour cream, buttermilk or thinned yogurt. It is best if the soup is chilled for several hours or overnight before serving. Okruschka