This Russian okroshka soup recipe made with kefir (Окрошка с кефиром) makes a cold summer soup you can slurp any time of year. It’s winter where you are? Turn up the heating. Seasonable vegetables such as cucumber and radish can be substituted with whatever’s available that’s crisp and crunchy. This chilled soup is healthy and one of the easiest soups you’ll make, coming together in half an hour.
My easy Russian okroshka soup recipe will make you a delicious cold summer soup that’s perfect for lunches in the sun in spring or summer and can be eaten just as you might a mango gazpacho or this cold Cambodian soup that we love. But, if you’re like me, you can really slurp okroshka (Окрошка), also spelt as ‘okroschka’, at any time of year. You’re in the northern hemisphere experiencing winter right now? Then wear an extra layer and turn the heating up! Trust me on this one.
Russians love their soups and there are soups for every season and occasion. You probably know borscht, the hearty beetroot-based vegetable and meat broth that’s one of Russia’s best-known soups, although its provenance is thought to be in Ukraine. You may also have heard of shchi, the Russian cabbage soup I posted a recipe for yesterday, that’s one of my favourites that’s also beloved by Russians – so much that it was named a “national treasure” by the Moscow Times.
But you may not have cooked a Russian okroshka soup recipe or even heard of okroshka unless you’re Russian, of Russian heritage, or a chef, food writer or cookbook author. I’ve found that outside Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Russian and Soviet diasporas around the world, okroshka is little-known. Yet it’s so delicious it should be just as well-known as Spain’s gazpacho.
I’ll share more about this Russian okroshka soup recipe in a moment, but first, can we ask a favour? If you’ve made any of our recipes from Russia or beyond and they’ve turned out well for you, please consider supporting Grantourismo so we can keep developing recipes and sharing food stories. This post suggests ways you can support Grantourismo but here are a few more ideas…
You can browse our online shop (we’ve got everything from gifts for foodies to reusable cloth face masks for food lovers created from Terence’s images); make a one-off donation or become a supporter of our first-of-its-kind Cambodian cookbook and culinary history on Patreon; or purchase something on Amazon, such as one of these James Beard 2020 award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, cookbooks for foodie travellers, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, and gifts for Asian food fans and picnic lovers. Now let me tell you about my Russian okroshka soup recipe.
Russian Okroshka Soup Recipe for the Cold Summer Soup You Can Slurp Any Time of Year
This Russian okroshka soup recipe is one of my favourite soup recipes – and if you’re a regular reader of Grantourismo and have cooked our soups from everywhere from Morocco to Mexico, you’ll know how much I love my soups, so that’s saying something.
My Russian okroshka soup recipe is easily one of our favourite Russian recipes, up there with the Russian family recipes that I’ve been sharing recently for dishes such as beetroot potato salad, savoury pirozhki (hand pies), potato vareniki, meat pelmeni, pan-fried Russian dumplings, stuffed cabbage rolls, and kotleti (chicken meat patties).
Just as you’ll come across many recipes for borscht and shchi, there are countless recipes for the cold soup called okroshka, however, whether they’re made with kefir or kvass or sour cream, they all share some key ingredients and that’s potato, cucumber and radish, and maybe boiled eggs. Fresh fragrant dill is essential. Scallions and mint make this soup for me.
If you’re arriving at Grantourismo for the first time or you’re a frequent reader dropping by to see what we’re up to, no, we haven’t pivoted to a Russian recipe website, we’ve just taken a break from testing recipes for the cookbooks we’ve been writing, as we normally do over the Christmas-New Year holidays.
This time of year I can usually be found cooking traditional Russian family recipes, no matter where we are in the world, and reminiscing about my family while I’m rolling out dough. This year, I decided to share those Russian food recipes here, as I’m currently writing a proposal for a Russian-Australian cookbook and memoir. More on that soon! Our usual programming will recommence soon.
No tips for my Russian okroshka soup recipe as it’s one of the easiest soups you’ll ever make, but do feel free to ask questions about this Russian cold soup recipe in the comments below if you need tips.
Russian Okroshka Soup Recipe
- 2 large waxy potatoes peeled, diced and boiled
- 2 hard boiled eggs diced
- 4 cucumbers small, diced
- 8 radishes small, diced
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 2 scallions finely onions sliced
- dill Fresh, handful roughly chopped
- mint Fresh, handful roughly chopped
- 500 ml natural unsweetened Kefir chilled
- 500 ml natural mineral water
- Sour cream
- Fresh dill
- Fresh mint
- Fresh scallions
- Peel, dice, and boil the potatoes until cooked, then when they’re ready, drain and rinse in cold water, and when cold, pop them in a large pot, where you’ll create your cold soup.
- While the potatoes are boiling, put the eggs on to hard-boil, then when ready put them in cold water, peel, and cube, and when cold add to the same pot.
- Slice the cucumber and radish into discs and add to the pot.
- Sprinkle the sea salt and black pepper into the pot and gently combine everything.
- Add the tablespoon of virgin olive oil, fresh scallions, finely sliced scallions, fresh dill and mint, and gently combine.
- Add the half litre of chilled natural unsweetened kefir and half litre of natural mineral water, stir, and taste: add additional salt, pepper or fragrant herbs to suit your taste, and adjust the ratio of kefir to water as you like.
- Chill in the fridge until cold or add some ice, then serve in individual bowls and garnish with more fresh fragrant herbs and – if you wish – dollops of sour cream.
Do let us know in the comments below or by email or on social media if you make my Russian okroshka soup recipe as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.