Okroshka is a cold soup based on
kvass or less often sour
milk. The main ingredients of both types are vegetables that can be mixed with
cold boiled meat or fish in a 1:1 proportion. Thus vegetable, meat, and fish
varieties of okroshka are made.
Left: Kvass okroshka.
There must be two sorts of vegetables in okroshka. The first
must have a neutral taste, such as boiled potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, carrots,
or fresh cucumbers. The second must be spicy, consisting of mainly green onion
as well as other herbs—greens of dill, parsley, chervil, celery, or tarragon.
Different meat and poultry can be used in the same soup. The most common
ingredient is beef alone or with poultry. If it is made with fish, the best
choice would be tench, European perch, pike-perch, cod, or other neutral-tasting
The kvass most commonly used in cooking is white okroshka kvass, which is much
more sour than drinking kvass. Spices used include mustard, black pepper and
pickled cucumber (specifically, the liquid from the pickles), solely or in
combination. For the final touch, boiled eggs and smetana (a heavy sour cream,
similar to crème fraîche) are added.
For sour milk based okroshka, well shaken up natural sour milk
(often with the
addition of seed oil) is used with the addition of pure water and ground garlic.
Sometimes manufactured kefir is used instead of natural sour milk for time
saving reasons, though some say it detracts from the original taste of okroshka.
Left: Sour milk okroshka.