cuisine has a rich
history and offers a wide variety of soups, dishes made from
fish, cereal based products and drinks. Vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, berries, herbs also
play a major part while meat does not. Primordial Russian products such as caviar, smetana, buckwheat, rye
flour, etc. have had a great influence on world cuisine
have always played a main role on a Russian table. The assortment of national
soups: shchi, ooha, rassolnik, solyanka, botvin`, okroshka, teur`, only increased
in the 18th to 20th centuries as European clear soups, puree soups, stews and others were
gladly accepted. In a similar way soups of neighbouring Slavic countries were
adopted into Russian cuisine. The world famous borsch is originally Ukrainian.
a single country in the world can present you such an assortment of soups. They
can be divided at least into 7 large groups:
soups based on kvas. Those are teur's, okroshka's
soups or stews, based on water and vegetables.
soup with meat, mushroom and milk gamma.
- the main type of Russian soup
and solyanka's - thick soups on
meat broth and salty-sour base.
and kal`ya - two main varieties of fish soups.
or vegetable-cereal based soups.
is a cold soup based on kvas, the main ingredients are vegetables
which can be mixed with cold boiled meat or fish with a proportion 1:1. Depending
on this okroshka is called vegetable, meat or fish.
must be two sorts of vegetables in okroshka, the first must have a neutral taste
(boiled potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, fresh cucumbers) the second must be
spicy consisting of mainly green onion as well as other herbs (greens of dill,
parsley, chervil, celery, tarragon). Different
meat and poultry can be used in the same soup. The most common ingredient is beef
alone or with poultry. If it is made with fish, the best choice would be tench,
perch, pike-perch, cod or other neutral tasting fish.
that is most commonly used is white okroshka kvas, which is much more sour than
drinking kvas. Spices used include mustard, black pepper and cucumber
pickle (the water
used), solely or in combination.
for the final touch boiled eggs and smetana are added.
is very similar to okroshka; the main difference being that instead of vegetables
bread is used.
is one of the most typical cold Russian soups, that went almost extinct because
it is very hard to make. Recipes that you can find in some modern cooking books
give advices as how to prepare it "easily" by substituting some of the ingredients.
But that will not give you the real taste.
full botvin'ya consists of three parts: 1) the soup, 2) boiled red fish (salmon, sturgeon, stellate
sturgeon), that is served separately from soup, 3) crushed ice, served on a separate
platter or cup.
name of the soup comes from the Russian word botva,
which means "leafy tops of root vegetables". And the ingredients keep in line
with the name: leafy tops of young beet, beetroots, oxalate sorrel, green onions,
dill, cucumbers, two types of kvas, then some mustard, lemon juice and horse-radish
is eaten as first course or right after a hot soup, before the second course as
an appetizer. You have to eat it with two spoons and a fork: the fork is used
to take the fish, the first spoon to sip the soup and the second spoon to put
ice into the soup, so it always stays cold. Botvin'ya is eaten with fresh rye
(cabbage soup) had been the main Russian first course over a thousand years. Although
tastes changed, it steadily made its way through several epochs. And it never
knew social class boundaries, it was a soup for everyone. Of course shchi was
not the same for different people: the one richer in ingredients, was called accordingly
"rich", on the contrary "poor" shchi was made out of cabbage and onions solely.
Nevertheless all these "poor" and "rich" variations were cooked in the same tradition
thus obtaining its taste and flavour. The unique taste of this cabbage soup was
from the fact that after cooking it was left to draw (stew) in a Russian stove.
"Spirit of scshi" was ineradicable from a Russian izba (log hut). Many Russian
proverbs are connected to this soup: "Shchi - vsemu golova" ("Shchi is head to
everything"); "Popal, kak kur vo shchi" ("Ended up like a chicken in a soup" -
got into trouble). It can be eaten regularly at any time of the year.
richer variant of shchi includes 6 main components: cabbage, meat (very rarely
fish or mushrooms), carrots or parsley roots, spicy herbs (onions, celery, dill,
garlic, pepper, boy leaf) and sour components (smetana, apples, cabbage pickle
(water). The first and the last components are a must.
this soup is served, smetana is added. It is eaten with rye bread.
are first course dishes that are actually strong vegetable broths.
shchi or other soups based on meat broths, stews are light soups based on vegetables
vegetable always prevails in stews hence the name: onion, potato, turnip, rutabaga,
lentil, etc. Preference is given to tender vegetables with short boil times and
string unique taste. Beans, sour cabbage, beetroot are never used.