Russian Soup – A Rich History of the Country’s Culture
Russian soup is the main staple in the diet of people every day. It’s not unlike any other culture in the world. It always has been such an important part of daily meals and the variety of different types to choose from is really extraordinary.
There are many categories of Russian soup that are hot and cold.
• Cabbage based soups such as the shchi
• Mushroom, milk and meat noodle soups
• Vegetable and water based stews
• Soups that are chilled such as tyurya, kvass, botvinya, and okroshka
• Vegetable and grain type soups
• Ukha fish soup as well as many other kinds that include different types of fish
Hot Russian soup
One of the principle hot soups that are usually served for the first course in most Russian meals for more than 1000 years is cabbage or Shchi soup. This is one of the soups that is not exclusive to any class of people. It doesn’t matter if someone is rich or poor; Shchi is a tradition and choice of mostly all Russian people. It is usually eaten at all times of the year. In addition, rye bread is often eaten along with almost any kind of soup that is served.
Other soups served hot are:
This is a soup served hot that has a sour and salty cucumber base. Interestingly, this isn’t an old traditional recipe. It was made in the 19th century. The name originates from rassol, which in Russian means pickle water. It can be served either vegetarian style, but quite often beef, kidneys or veal are added to the pickle base along with potatoes, vegetables and barley to balance the sour taste.
This is a thicker soup that adds cabbage, smetana, rassolink, spices and other vegetables like lemons, tomatoes, capers, olives, pickled and salted mushrooms to produce a very salty and sour soup base.
Cold Russian soup
One of the popular types that are eaten cold with sour milk or kvass is Okroshka. The principle ingredients with both of these soup types are vegetables combined with cold meats or fish that have been boiled.
Vegetables that are added to this type of soup can make it spicy or neutral. For a spicy flair, you can add dill grains, green onion, celery, chervil, parsley and tarragon. For the more neutral variety add potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, turnips and fresh cucumber.
As far as the sour milk that is included in some of these cold soups, it is natural sour milk that has been well shaken and combined with seed oil, pure water as well as ground garlic. You can often replace the sour milk and use kefir instead, but many cold soup purists say that it changes the taste of the traditional okroshka.