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Culture Kitchen: Russia

Thank you to everyone who came out this January for our Culture Kitchen Russia event! It was a pleasure to have Ellie cook with us earlier this week, showing us how to make Solyanka, a Russian soup that features some uncommonly used soup ingredients, such as pickles. If you're looking for a hearty soup with unique flavor, this one's for you! You can find the complete recipe below.

While the original recipe for the dish features many different meats, Solyanka can be made vegetarian friendly by substituting different kinds of vegetables to add substance to the soup. Some suggestions are mushrooms, carrots, and red bell peppers.

Once again, thank you Ellie for teaching us not only how to make Solyanka, but also about Russian culture. As always, make sure to keep an eye out for our next Culture Kitchen event to learn about a new culture and recipe!

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breast or low-fat beef (best meat for Solyanka is beef ribs)

  • 4 oz beef snack bites or any small smoked sausages

  • 4 pcs wieners/sausages

  • 3 pickles, diced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1/2 can black pitted olives

  • 5 spoonfuls of tomato paste

  • ½ of a lemon

  • Dill

  • Salt

  • Water


  1. Start by adding the chicken breast or beef to a sauce pan, along with 4 cups of water.

  2. Now add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan. When it is hot, add the sausages and beef snack bites. Fry them in olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then reduce the heat, and add the fried smoked meats to the saucepan with the broth and chicken breast.

  3. Using the same frying pan, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Now sauté the diced onions, diced pickles, and olives in olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring until the onions and pickles are soft.

  4. Next, add the 5 spoonfuls of tomato paste and half a cup of water from the saucepan to the frying pan with the onions and pickles. Stir and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer the onions and pickles for 10 minutes, then pour the mixture into the saucepan with the Solyanka.

  5. To the saucepan, add salt and cook for another 10 minutes.

  6. At this stage, you can take out the boiled chicken breast or beef out of the broth and cut it into pieces before returning it to the saucepan.

  7. Serve the Solyanka with lemon slices and dill.

  8. Enjoy!

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