November 01, 1996

A Potent Mixture



Russian cuisine without soups is a bit like French cuisine without cheeses. Probably no other world cuisine has as many soup recipes as Russia.

You will already have heard of borshch and maybe shchi, and now it’s the turn of a no less interesting soup, solyanka. This is the name in Russia for both sauerkraut and a thick soup made from a very strong broth with hot spicy seasoning.

Today solyanka (the soup) is prepared much more often in restaurants than in Russian homes, although at one time it was considered a peasant dish and made with a base of sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers. Later, it was discovered by the nobles and became more of a delicacy: they added kvas, lemon, olives and capers. Thus the taste changed too, becoming more tart and salty.


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