Okroshka, the White, Cold Soup From Russia: How To Make It Successfully?
Okroshka is a cold soup of Russian origin and probably originated in the Volga region. I’m not sure this is the most classic okroshka in the world. Some believe it MUST be based on kvass. As far as I know, any kvass won’t work – it has to be some special, non-sweet one. I was making this for the first time, so I chose not to risk it and make it with kefir – for some Slavs, this is the true classic.
kefir, 1 liter (buttermilk works too; I’ll do 50⁄50 next time);
hard-boiled eggs, chopped, 2;
finely chopped pork ham, 100 g;
dill and spring onions;
short cucumbers, finely cubed, 2;
radishes (optional, but looks good);
vinegar, 2 tablespoons (one for boiling the potatoes, the other is for making the soup sour);
Peel and finely chop the potatoes. Bring water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. It’s important the potatoes don’t overcook and become too soft. Drain the water and cool the potatoes.
Add half of the potatoes and the rest of pre-chopped ingredients into a bowl, stir together, add salt. Set the remaining potatoes aside. We have a pretty decent salad now, so feel free to put some of it aside. I’ll let you know what you can do with it later.
Cover everything with kefir or buttermilk, add the vinegar and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
We have potatoes left. What do we do with it? Pan-fry in butter! It’s not the classic choice, but it’s certainly worth making this improvement.
Serve the soup with pan-fried potatoes on the side or by putting them into the soup.
If you’ve set aside some of the “salad”, as I’ve kindly requested you do, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise, a teaspoon of mustard, mix well and thank me later.
This time, I made the soup in a simple, quite classic way – no mustard or horseradish or any other weird experiments I enjoy performing. But I do believe that some horseradish and pickle juice would help the soup to get more character.