7 summer cold soups from Russia (RECIPES)

Legion Media
Russians consider soups a very healthy meal for the stomach and eat them all year round. And for the summer heat, the Russian cuisine has a lot of cold soups.

1. Svekolnik

Do you like borsch? This is a variation of the famous beetroot soup, only cold (another name is kholodnik, derived from the word ‘cold’). It’s very easy to prepare: the chopped ingredients are filled with kefir or water. In the classic version, svekolnik should be vegetarian, but you can also add boiled sausages or boiled meat, as well.

Recipe (for 4 persons):

3-4 small boiled beets, 1.5 liters of kefir, 2 cucumbers, 3-4 hard-boiled eggs, 250g of sausage, spring onion and parsley to taste. 

Leave 1-2 eggs to garnish the dish at the end. Chop all other ingredients and put them in a pan. Pour over with kefir or water and add salt to taste. Chill for 30 minutes in a fridge and serve with greens and sour cream.

2. Okroshka

One of the weirdest dishes in Russian cuisine is okroshka - essentially a salad with kvass or kefir. However, it’s very tasty! In Russia, it’s one of the most popular summer soups that is usually included in the menu of most canteens and cafes. Try and make it yourself!

Recipe (for 4 persons):

Kefir or kvass - up to 1 liter (as preferred), 2-3 boiled potatoes, 2 cucumbers, 2 radishes, 2 boiled eggs, 150-200 gr boiled beef and herbs to taste.

Chop everything and put in a pan. Add kefir or kvass and serve with herbs. 

3. Botvinya

This is an ancient cold soup made from beet tops in sour kvass with nettles, spinach, spring onion and other garden herbs. Traditionally, it is served with ice cubes and salmon, but it’s also good without them. 

Recipe (for 4 persons):

4 boiled eggs, 4 boiled beets, 2 cucumbers, 200 gr of spring onion, 200 gr of beet tops, 200 gr of radishes, 70 gr of spinach (or lettuce), 4 cups of bread kvass. 

Chop the ingredients well. The spinach should be chopped very fine. Mix the ingredients and add kvass. Serve with sour cream and slices of smoked fish.

4. Murtsovka

This soup is based on kvass, too! Murtsovka is the simplest cold dish made with herbs, eggs and pieces of rye bread with kvass or water. Sounds weird, until you try it.

Recipe (everything to taste):

Spring onion, unrefined sunflower oil, rye bread, salt, pepper, water or kvass. 

Chop the onion very fine, add a bit of oil, salt and pepper, then add very cold water or kvass. 

5. Sorrel soup 

Do you like sorrel? Russians do! Many people here plant it on their dachas and then use it for cooking: as a filling for pies, as a side dish and, of course, as a great base for soup. It’s very refreshing and full of vitamins - and low-fat! 

Recipe (for 4 persons):

2-3 boiled potatoes, 3-4 boiled eggs, 3-4 cucumbers, 2 bunches of sorrel, one bunch of spring onion, parsley to taste, sour cream to taste.

Chop the sorrel finely and boil for 5 minutes, then let cool in the water. Then, chop cucumbers and eggs. Mix the ingredients and put into the “sorrel broth”. Add sour cream, salt and chopped herbs.    

6. Turya

This old-school cold soup based on water (or kvass) and bread is a popular peasant summer dish. It resembles okroshka (see pt. 2 above), but with pre-cooked vegetables and meat. Modern chefs suggest making this traditional Russian soup with garlic croutons and kombucha!

Recipe (for 4 persons):

1 liter of kombucha, 4 slices of rye bread, 2 boiled eggs, herbs, spring onion to taste, 2 cloves of garlic, oil, salt and pepper. 

Cut the bread into cubes and combine with a mix of garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Bake the bread in the oven for 5-6 minutes at 200°C. Chop the herbs and boiled eggs and add cold kombucha. Garnish with bread. Eat immediately! 

7. Strawberry soup

A soup for dessert? Why not! If you like strawberries, try this yummy recipe created by Soviet chefs. 

Recipe (for 2 persons):

A cup of strawberries, ¼ cup of 20% fat cream (or yogurt), ¼ cup of orange juice, ¼ cup of water, mint leaves for garnish. 

Mix the berries, juice, water and sugar in a blender. Garnish with cream, mint or even some ice cream!

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