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Okroshka (Russian Cold Soup)

Okroshka is a Russian Cold Soup that’s perfect for a hot summer day. It’s very refreshing and filling at the same time. The crunchy texture of radishes and cucumbers is combined with the incredible aroma of fresh herbs making this chilled soup flavourful and satisfying.

Okroshka soup in a white bowl.

Russian Okroshka is perfect for a meal-prep because you can make it in advance, put in the fridge, and then enjoy for two to three days.

Ingredients for Russian Okroshka

The soup consists of two parts – the mix of solid ingredients and the liquids. The base of okroshka is basically a salad made with cucumbers, radishes, eggs, herbs, and some other ingredients.

When ready to serve, the salad is transferred into bowls, and at this point, the liquids of choice are added to the servings.

Washed radishes, cucumbers, green onions, and dill in a colander.

Ingredients for the Okroshka Base

Here are the main ingredients you will need to make the base mix:

1. Cucumbers

Choose small field cucumbers with soft skin. If the cucumbers you have on hand have tough dark green skin, peel them. Also, make sure to cut off the darker end of the cucumbers as they can be bitter.

2. Radishes

Wash the radishes and pat them dry with a paper towel. Remove the long root part and the end that is attached to the greens.

3. Potatoes

Choose waxy potatoes to make sure they don’t fall apart in the soup.

To prepare the potatoes, boil or bake them whole with the skin on. Let them cool completely, preferably overnight. Then peel the potatoes and dice.

4. Eggs

Use your favorite method to make hardboiled eggs and let them cool completely. Then peel and chop the cooked eggs into small pieces.

5. Herbs

The main herbs, which I think are a must in okroshka, are dill, chives, or green onions. You can also add fresh cilantro or parsley if you like.

To release more flavor from the herbs, chop them first on a cutting board, add a little bit of coarse salt, then slightly press the herbs with a flat side of the knife blade.

6. Sausage or Meat (optional)

Okroshka is often made with a sausage similar to Bologna. Unfortunately, this type of sausage isn’t very healthy because it can be full of preservatives.

I prefer making okroshka with cooked chicken. I either boil or fry a chicken breast or use rotisserie chicken leftovers.

Okroshka can also be made with a mix of different cooked meats such as beef, chicken, and turkey.

You can also just skip the meat and make it vegetarian. Just add a couple more eggs to keep the soup filling.

The base mix for okroshka in a glass bowl.

What Liquid Can I Use for Okroshka?

A great part about this chilled soup is that you can adjust the flavor by using different types of liquids

Here are a few examples:

1. Kvass

Kvass is a fermented fizzy beverage made from rye bread. It’s by far the most popular liquid used to make okroshka. This is why okroshka is often called kvass soup.

You might be able to find kvass at grocery stores specializing in European products.

When buying kvass, make sure it’s the real kvass that contains live cultures. This type of kvass is always refrigerated. Stay away from canned kvass sold in the same aisle as soft drinks.

It’s also possible to make fresh kvass at home.

2. Fermented Dairy Drinks

Kefir or buttermilk are other popular choices for okroshka. If you have access to tan or ayran, you can use them too. 

Fermented milk products can be diluted with carbonated mineral water if needed.

3. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that is perfect for okroshka. It’s tangy and refreshing at the same time. It’s very similar to kvass.

These days, kombucha is easy to find at regular grocery stores. When buying kombucha for okroshka, make sure it’s made with just black tea and isn’t infused with any other flavors.

My favorite way to make okroshka is to combine kombucha with kefir.

4. Vegetable or Chicken Stock

I prefer to make okroshka with fermented liquids mentioned above because they provide beneficial probiotics. But you can also make this summer soup with vegetable or chicken stock. 

When buying or make the stock for okroshka, make sure it’s completely fat-free because you will be serving it cold, and any type of fat will have an unpleasant mouthfeel.

Ingredients to Avoid

Okroshka soup is a healthy summer dish. But there are two ingredients that can potentially make it less healthy.

The first popular ingredient to avoid is any mystery sausage or cured meat. Unless you are completely confident in the ingredients of these products, don’t use them if you want to have a healthy meal.

And the second popular ingredient to avoid is mayonnaise. 

Mayonnaise is incredibly popular in Russian cuisine and is added to almost anything. I don’t use it in okroshka because of the same reason I don’t use sausages and also because I don’t think it tastes great in cold soups.

Russian okroshka in a white bowl.

How to Make Okroshka

Making this chilled Russian soup is pretty easy, but you do have to do some prep work.

To prepare the ingredients for okroshka, bake or boil the potatoes whole with the skin on, make hardboiled eggs, and cook the meat if using. Let everything cool completely.

Then peel the potatoes and eggs.

To make the okroshka base, chop all the ingredients and place them into a big bowl. Mix to combine and place the bowl into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. 

That’s it! Your okroshka is ready to eat.

How to Serve Okroshka

Okroshka is always served cold. So, make sure the salad mix and the liquids are cold. You can even add a couple of ice cubes to the serving.

To serve, place some of the chopped ingredients into a soup bowl and add the liquid of your choice. Season with salt. Optionally, you can add about half a teaspoon of mustard.

Top view of okroshka soup in a bowl on marble background.

How to Store Okroshka

Store the okroshka base in a glass container with a tight lid for up to 2 to 3 days. Make sure to not salt the base mix because it will cause the cucumbers to release moisture, which, in turn, will make the mix watery.

All liquids should also be stored in the fridge until ready to serve.

Okroshka (Russian Cold Soup)

Okroshka (Russian Cold Soup)

Yield: 5-6 portions
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Okroshka is a refreshing Russian Cold Soup that's perfect for a hot summer day. It's healthy, delicious, and filling. This simple recipe is very easy to make using budget-friendly ingredients. Perfect for meal-prep.

Ingredients

  • 4 small field cucumbers or 3/4 English cucumbers
  • 8 radishes
  • 3 medium potatoes, cooked and peeled
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 skinless chicken breast, cooked*
  • 2 generous handfuls of fresh dill
  • 3 green onions
  • salt to taste

For Okroshka with Kvas:

  • 5-6 cups kvass, (1 cup per portion)
  • 5-6 Tbsp sour cream or yogurt (1 Tbsp per portion)

For Okroshka with Kefir:

  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups kefir or buttermilk (1/2 cup per portion)
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups carbonated mineral water (1/2 cup per portion)
  • lemon wedge for serving

For Okroshka with Kombucha:

  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups kefir (1/2 cups per portion)
  • 2 1/2 -3 cups kombucha (1/2 cups per portion)

Instructions

  1. Bake or boil the potatoes whole with the skin on. Make hardboiled eggs, and cook the meat if using. Let everything cool completely. Then peel the potatoes and eggs.
  2. Dice the cucumbers, radishes, potatoes, and eggs and place everything into a large bowl.
  3. Slice the chicken into small bite-sized pieces and add it to the veggie mixture.
  4. Chop the herbs. Add the herbs to the bowl. Mix to combine. Place into a refrigerator and chill for about 30 minutes or more.
  5. When ready to serve, place about a cup of the mixture into a soup bowl and add the type of liquid you are using and season with salt to taste. Optionally, you can add a couple of ice cubes to the serving.

Notes

Nutrition information was calculated for Okroshka made with 1/2 cup of kefir and 1/2 cup of kombucha per portion.

Nutrition Information
Yield 5 Serving Size 1/5 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 273.7Total Fat 6.8gSaturated Fat 2.6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4.2gCholesterol 151.7mgSodium 151.2mgCarbohydrates 36.6gFiber 4.5gSugar 7.5gProtein 18g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

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