Delicious Russia: Solyanka, thick and spicy soup for the cold winter

There are probably 3 main Russian soups that deserves your attention: Borscht, Okroshka and Solyanka. Today we're cooking Solyanka, a thick and spicy dish of Russian cuisine.


Solyanka is a thick, spicy and sour dish of Russian cuisine.

There are three basic types of solyanka, with the main ingredient being either meat, fish, or mushrooms. Meat solyanka is the most common, however, and it usually includes an assortment of meats ranging from beef, veal, ham, sausage, to liver. The primary ingredients of all variations include pickled mushrooms or cucumbers, cabbage, and of course sour cream and dill, Russia’s stand-by garnishes. Regardless of how it is made, the most characterizing aspect of solyanka is its saltiness; which might be guessed from it’s name, derived from the Russian "соль," or "salt." 

This dish needs time and your patience.

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

A half-kilo beef shoulder cut

A couple of chicken breasts

Smoked pork ribs

Smoked chicken leg 

2 onions

1 large carrot

2 potatoes

3 pickles

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

200-300 grams of pitted olives

1 lemon

Several small parsley roots

A few grains of allspice


Bay leaf

Fresh dill

Here's how we do it:

1) The first thing to do is boil the broth. We take a beef shoulder cut and pour in some water. As soon as it comes to the boil, we turn down the heat and leave it to simmer for 2-3 hours. To season the broth, we add bay leaf, parsley root, allspice, and a touch of cardamom.

2) While the broth is boiling, we’ll chop the remaining ingredients.

3) We fry the smoked products in one frying pan. And the onions, carrots, and chicken in another.

4) After removing the beef from the broth, we strain the liquid and cut the beef into small pieces.

5) ALL the ingredients go into the strained broth! Once all the ingredients are in place, we let the soup stew for about 10 minutes more and give it time to brew. Solyanka acquires its optimal taste the following day, but if you can’t wait...

6) Add a little dill, sour cream, and a slice of lemon — that’s what rounds off a truly good solyanka. Since solyanka already contains many salty ingredients, we add only a tiny pinch of salt.

Solyanka soup is great in a winter evening with some nice freshly baked bread, home made preferably! Give it a try and the Solyanka soup may become your favourite.

More video-tutorials on the Russian cuisine here.

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