Okroshka, cold soup with kvass

Okroshka is a traditional Russian cold soup made with kvass. Usually, we eat it in the summer heat, but who said that the season is finished?

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Ingredients for Okroshka:

Kvass - 1.5 l

Cased sausage - 450g

Potatoes 6 medium - pcs

Eggs - 3 pcs

Cucumbers - 6 pcs

Horseradish - 1 pc

Radish - 4 pcs

Bunching onion - 1 sheaf 

Dill - 1 sheaf

Sour cream - 1 spoon 

The Russian summer can be gone before you really know it's there. A two-week stretch of blue skies in June, some thunderstorms in July, and by late August, days are growing shorter and jackets are coming back out. In spite of this, or maybe because of the six months of winter waiting at the other end of the calendar, Russians cherish every second of their summers. If they are not sunning themselves on some Mediterranean beach, they spend as much time as possible at their dachas (July through mid-August is the time of the year when business grinds to a standstill), expose their bodies to all the sunlight they can and try to generally be good sports about the heat. And, of course, they roll out the summer soups.

Foreigners are often amazed at how many cold soups Russia has. Actually, most of the summer soups you'll come across are just variations on the big three. There's svekolnik, the summery cousin to borsch that we wrote about last year. Botvinya, a summer soup that uses a very old and notoriously difficult recipe, is seldom attempted by anyone other than gourmet chefs and grandmothers. The last of the big three summer soups is okroshka - the soup everyone loves and almost anyone can make.

Okroshka is a cold soup of Russian origin that is also found in Ukraine. The name probably originates from "kroshit'", which means to crumble into small pieces.

The classic soup is a mix of mostly raw vegetables (like cucumbers and spring onions), boiled potatoes, eggs, and a cooked meat such as beef, veal, sausages, or ham with kvass, which is a mildly alcoholic beverage made from fermented black or rye bread. Okroshka is usually garnished with sour cream. Later versions that appeared in Soviet times use light or diluted kefir, vinegar, mineral water, or even beer instead of kvass.

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