Rassolnik, soup with pickled cucumbers

People tend to view Rassolnik as very exotic, due to the fact that its main ingredient is pickled cucumbers, but you will be surprised by this soup.

Rassolnik (soup with pickled cucumbers) in its modern form is a direct descendant of the rosolny dishes of old Russian cuisine, which even included pies. It was customary to pour spicy brine (rassol) made from cucumbers or other vegetables over the filling of such pies before serving them. These days the main varieties of hot broth that go by the name of rassolnik are made from meat, fish or vegetable stock, as well as giblets. Nowadays not only the brine gets added, but the pickles themselves.

For the brothFor the soup

veal brisket - 1 pc

parsley root - 1 pc

carrot - 1 pc

onion - 1 pc

herbs, spices

veal kidney - 1 pc

carrot - 1 pc

onion - 1 pc

turnip - 1 pc

pickled cucumbers - 5 pcs

brine

pearl barley

How do we make it?

1) Raw kidneys have a quite pungent smell. So they need to be soaked overnight to make them respectable. Then boil them

2) Put in the pearl barley to stew.

3) Next we’ll cut and prepare the vegetables. Chop carrot, turnip and onion. Be sure to chop the vegetables by hand. If you grate them, they’ll fall apart in the soup. Peel and deseed the pickles. The baking pan with the vegetables should be covered with foil and placed in the oven for about 20 minutes at 230 degrees until lightly browned.

4) When the kidneys reached the boil, we fished them out and rinsed in warm water. Now we’ll cut off the bits we don’t want and chop them up.

5) To save time, we made the broth beforehand. Here’s what we did. We took a veal brisket on the bone, and added parsley root, carrot, onion, herbs and spices. The result was about 2 liters of broth. Now we add the kidneys and cucumber rind. When the broth boils, put in the baked vegetables and barley.

6) Finally, add 1 cup of brine, bring to the boil and stew for another 20 minutes or so.

7) Add a dollop of smetana or sour cream plus a few herbs, and it’s ready to serve.

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