We promised you another post on Slavic cuisine and here it is. As we continue on the our path of discovery of soups in the Slavic countries, we decided to try a fairly simple yet flavorful Russian summer soup called Okroshka. And yes, we understand that this is the dead of winter but you will definitely be surprised just how versatile this soup can really be. Don’t let ingredients like sour milk, cucumber, dill and mustard fool you into thinking that this is a soup lacking the flavor and heartiness that borscht provides. It’s fulfilling and delightful in it’s very own way. Okroshka provides the palette with its “sour” fix by means of using sour milk as the base. Kvass, which is a non-alcoholic bread drink, can be used as the substitute for sour milk…however, the caveat there is to remember to use cooking kvass as opposed to drinking kvass. Using drinking kvass will most definitely make your soup look and taste more like Pepsi with a bunch of vegetables added to it!! Kefir can be used too…however, we stuck to our roots and decided to use yogurt milk from the local Indian grocery store to serve our purpose. Mix all the ingredients together and top the soup off with some boiled egg whites and sour cream for texture and flavor and voila…Okroshka is born!! Okroshka is probable the “prettiest” soup ever….just look at the pictures we’ve posted!! Operation Okroshka was a success!!
Speaking of versatile…another versatile dish suited to both sweet and savory variations is the blini , or in other words, the Russian version of a crepe. Blini are so easy to whip up from just basic ingredients from your pantry. Flour, eggs, milk and sugar – mix it all together and what to do you get??….blini!!!
Add berries and cream, or cottage cheese for a sweet twist, or add sauteed potatoes,onions and celery with your favorite herb (we used dill) for a fantastic breakfast…serve with a dollop of sour cream and that’s all there is to it!!