Many Russians love this authentic Russian soup for its rich consistency and sour taste. The name itself is derived from the word salt, which makes it one of the most distinctive features of this dish. There are three basic types of solyanka, with the main ingredient being meat, fish, or mushrooms, and they all contain pickled cucumbers with brine.
To make it you will need meat, mushroom or fish stock. Then you need to mix chopped pickled cucumbers and brine into the broth and cook it for a while so that it becomes rich with the brine flavor. As with many other soups, the list of ingredients can vary depending on the household, but the most common are cabbage, potatoes, olives, lemon, onions and of course a spoonful of sour cream!
- Make a spice bag by tying the bay leaves, peppercorns and allspice in a square piece of cheesecloth. Tie with butcher’s twine.
- Use the ends of the butcher’s twine to tie the sachet to the handle of a large stockpot so that the sachet hangs in the pan.
- Add the water and ground beef to the stockpot and bring to a boil. Add the shredded cabbage and chopped celery and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and carrots and cook until translucent. Add the sausage, chicken, ham, pickles and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer to the stockpot.
- Add the stewed tomatoes, sliced olives and capers and bring to the boil. Add the wine and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pouch and throw it away. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Ladle the soup into hot bowls and garnish with sour cream and dill. Serve hot.