Okroshka is a cold traditional Russian soup. They say that okroshka originated on the banks of the Volga, invented by burlaks, poor laborers hired to tow barges upstream in the shallows of the river. For work they were paid with kvass and dried salty fish. To make that fish edible, they dipped it in kvass. To make it a meal, they would chop vegetables into the mix when available.
This idea spread all over the country and became a traditional summer soup that reached the menu of Russian royalty. Apparently Alexander III was a big fan.
Cold okroshka soup, which is often eaten in summer, provides a refreshing taste. Okroshka is made with raw vegetables, boiled potatoes, meat or sausage and kvass, a fermented drink made from rye bread. It is important that the ingredients retain their shape and texture, so kvass is always added last. It’s a light soup, so perfect for hot summers when you don’t want heavy food.
- Hard boil the eggs and then cool them quickly with cold water. Remove the shells and separate the whites from the yolks. Puree the yolks in a bowl. Add mustard, sugar, ½ cup kvass, salt and horseradish. Mix well until smooth.
- Finely chop the green onions and mix well with some salt. Finely chop the egg whites and other ingredients.
- Mix everything well in a bowl, add 500 ml kvass, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Before serving, add sour cream and sprinkle with dill.
- Serve some kvass separately so that everyone can pour it over their okroshka to taste.