Rassolnik - Beef, Barley and Pickle Soup
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Rassolnik - Beef, Barley and Pickle Soup

Favorite Russian hangover treatment, comes handy oafter the holidays. I think it is also known in Poland - I tried something very similar, called Zupa Ogorkova ( or is it Ogorkowa?)

 1) Bring the chicken broth to a boil. (You can start this soup by cooking a quick chicken broth using chicken wings, a quartered onion, some garlic cloves, a bay leaf, peppercorns and some salt. Cook until the chicken is cooked and the broth is very flavorful. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth or a paper towel.)

2) You can also use beef broth or pork. Use whichever meat you like for the broth. Or make this soup as a vegetarian option. Omit the meat and use vegetable broth.

Add the potatoes and barley to the soup.

3) Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep the soup covered as it cooks. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Add the onion and carrot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are softened. Add to the soup.

4) Shred the pickles on a box grater and add to the soup.

5) You can also add a bit of the pickling brine to the soup. It gives the soup a nice zip.

6) Cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes and barley are cooked through.

7) Garnish the soup with some finely minced herbs, parsley, dill, scallions, etc. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.