Solyanka is a dish that combines a great variety of ingredients. It is a bright vegetable stew and rich broth with mushrooms, fish and meat. Long time ago solyanka was cooked from cabbage, meat and cucumbers. The distinctive feature of solyanka was a characteristic sour taste which was reached by adding vinegar or brine. And only later on solyanka transformed into a soup.
This soup can be compared to Russian shchi and rassolnik soups. There are numerous interpretations of the recipe, because solyanka can be cooked not only with meat, but also with fish and mushrooms. The main quality of solyanka is its salty sour taste as the dish consists of such ingredients as lemon, pickled cucumbers, olives, sometimes kvass and marinated mushrooms. Rich broth and palatable taste make this dish authentic and special.
Originally solyanka had a folksy name “hangover soup” and was served on the next day after a feast. Perhaps this is the reason why this nutritious and toning dish was so popular among common folks, whereas serving solyanka at a noble table was a sign of bad taste. Today solyanka has won its place in the menus of many expensive restaurants. Along with borscht it is one of the most favorite soups of Russian people.
Hearty meat broth
Any kind of boiled meat
Red bell pepper
Chop and fry onions in butter, add finely chopped bell pepper and tomato paste. Then add a little broth and simmer covered 5 minutes. Cut pickled cucumbers in cubes. Slice meat and add to the cooked tomato sauce. Mix in olives, salt and spices.
Combine the sauce with the broth and simmer on low heat 10 minutes. Serve solyanka hot with a table spoon of sour cream, slice of lemon and finely chopped greens on top.