My family heritage is Eastern European. My family has always tried to make sure I had some knowledge and experience of my ancestry. There is no better way to connect with a culture than through its food. This is especially true for Eastern Europe.
I remember my mom making this Russian Solyanka soup for me since I was little. It is a great way to get your kids to love vegetables because not only is it absolutely healthy, but it also taste absolutely exquisite. The flavor is unlike any that our American or Western cuisine offers. It will introduce your kids to something that they never experienced or expected.
More about Solyanka Soup...
The flavor of this soup is sweet and sour at the same time. It is hard to describe or compare to anything. It is Eastern European gourmet cooking at its finest. Just like every chef, every dish is going to vary based on how you make it and what ingredients you choose to use. If you follow this recipe, you won’t be disappointed.
You can use almost any meat for this soup. I personally prefer to mix ham and beef in mine, but you could use ribs, pork, salami, turkey, chicken and/or other deli meats. Just don’t mix poultry and meats.
There are many recipes on how to make this Eastern European soup, but I have personally found my version to be the most flavorful and fulfilling both in keeping the hunger away and keeping it true to the authentic taste.
If you are into gourmet foods, then this soup will blow your mind. Give it a try and let me know in the comment box below what you think.
Water – 3 quarts
Beef or pork – 21 oz
Ham – 7 oz
White onion – 1 big or 2 small
Pickles – 2 – 4 pieces (I recommend German pickles, they are the closest in taste to Eastern European ones and will help you achieve the right flavor)
Black Olives – 4 oz
Tomato paste/sauce – 2 tb.sp.
Olive oil/canola oil – 2 tb.sp.
Butter – 1 tb.sp. (I highly recommend Kellogg Pure Irish Butter)
Bay Leaves – 1 – 2 large leaves
Pepper corns – 3 – 5 pieces
Fresh Parsley – 3 – 5 tb.sp. per serving bowl
Lemon slices – 1 per bowl
Hard boiled eggs – 1 per serving bowl
Sour Cream – 1 tb.sp. per serving bowl
Shallots or green onions – optional
Salt/Pepper to taste
As you might know from my other recipe posts, I like to make things simple. I prioritize my preparation methods in a way that does not sabotage the flavor but minimizes my dishes and work load. I hate doing the dishes so for me an extra bowl or item to wash is like having three times as many.
Here is how to prep the Solyanka soup my way.
1. In a large pot, bring to boil whatever raw meats you will use. For example, if you’re doing it with my favorite meats, then boil the beef. (Leave the ham out since it is already a pre-cooked product. You will add it later on.) Lower the temperature to low simmer.
2. Add salt, bay leaves and pepper corns. Let it all cook until the beef is done. The cooking time will vary greatly based on your choice of meet or poultry. I recommend buying those beef pieces that are already pre-chopped so that you don’t have to chop anything up. It really saves you a whole lot of time and energy.
3. While the raw meats are cooking, prepare the cooked meats. For mine, I chop up the ham. If you like, you could chop up salami or whatever other deli meats you want to use. Add the cooked meats into the soup pot.
4. Peel the white onion and chop it up. In a frying pan, fry the onion in butter mixed with olive oil (or whatever other oil you like to use. I prefer olive oil.) Fry until the onion is soft and golden. Add tomato paste into the frying pan. Mix the onion with the tomato paste. Fry it for a couple of minutes and pour the mixture into the soup pot.
5. Chop up the pickles. Add them into the soup pot.
6. Get a different pot and boil a few eggs. Half an egg per serving bowl.
7. Add black and/or green olives into the soup pot.
8. Add capers into the soup pot.
And Let's Continue
9. Try the soup for flavor and if needed add more salt/crushed pepper. Mix the soup. Turn it off, close the lid and let it stand for about 10 minutes.
10. By now your eggs are probably hard boiled. Peel them and cut them in halves.
11. Slice up a lemon.
12. Chop up some parsley. (You could also just use your fingers to break it up real quick.)
13. Into the serving bowls, pour the soup, add a table spoon or two of parsley. Place a slice of lemon and a half of egg yolk up onto your soup. Add a spoon of sour cream on there, too. Sprinkle with green onions or shallots and you’re done!
Serve hot and enjoy!
Let me know in the comments box below how yours came out.