Solyanka soup recipe, Russian smoked meat soup
Meat Solyanka is a well known Russian and Ukrainian soup with sour and smoked meaty flavour. There are meat, fish and vegetable (mushroom) Solyanka versions but today we are cooking the meat one. Russian barrel salted (not pickled!) cucumbers are always used in Solyanka and they give the soup that distinctive salty and sour taste. Sometimes some pickle brine is also added. In meat Solyanka you are supposed to use several types of meats (at least 3 different types), most of the meats should be smoked. Usually in Russia meat Solyanka would be cooked on the base of classical meat bouillon (broth). For meats in Solyanka soup all kinds of smocked supplies are used: ham, sausages, frankfurters, chicken, bacon and sometimes a typical Russian Doktorskaya ‘boiled’ sausage of Bologna type. It probably has to do with a total deficit of good meats in the Soviet era. Here in the UK I cook Solyanka soup (that my US husband loves very much!) with handy smoked meats you can find in any food store or at the local butcher. See the recipe of Solyanka soup and pictures below.
Russian meat Solyanka soup recipe
Ingredients for 4 helpings of Russian Solyanka meat soup:
- 1,2 litres (about 5 cups) low salt meat or chicken bouillon / stock (I use my own chicken stock that I make with very little salt). Alternatively you can use just water or half-and-half
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 1 large carrot grated
- 70 g pancetta or bacon chopped
- 100 g smocked cooking chorizo or other smoked pork sausage chopped
- 160 g smocked chicken breast (or other smocked meat) cubed
- 3 large barrel-salted cucumbers (available from a Russian, Polish or Lithuanian shop, in the US also available at deli individually packed as a snack) finely chopped
- 3 Tsp tomato purée
- 1/2 tsp paprika (smoked paprika is even better!)
- 1 large potato cubed into small cubes
- 2 Tsp capers (optional)
The amounts of meat ingredients for Solyanka soup are here for your guidance. Feel free to exchange and mix the meats to your liking or simply use what you have in hand. To serve:
- 1/2 of large lemon
- your favourite green, red or black olives to taste
- finely chopped dill and/or parsley
- black pepper
- sour cream or crème fraîche (optional)
In a deep pot put the bouillon for Solyanka soup on to warm it up. In a deep frying pan (like wok) fry pancetta, chorizo (bacon or/and any other cooking meat(s) you are using) on the medium fire. When the fat is melted out add chopped onion and grated carrot. Fry for a while but don’t let them get brown. Add chopped salty cucumbers and let cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato purée, paprika and capers, if you like them, mix all well and turn off the gas.
When the bouillon for Solyanka soup starts to boil add the cubed potato, let boil and then simmer for 5 minutes on a small heat. Now add the fried-up stuff into the Solyanka soup and add all the rest cubed smoked or un-smoked meats like chicken breast, beef tongue, etc. Let the Solyanka soup simmer slowly for 5-10 minutes, then taste for salt. If Solyanka soup is not salty enough, add some pickle brine into the soup. Turn off the fire, cover with the lid and let the Solyanka soup seat for several hours. This will make the soup better, believe me! Russian Solyanka soup is even better the next day!
Serve Russian meat Solyanka soup with a thin slice of lemon, chopped dill and/or parsnip and several olives in every bowl. Add sour cream to taste. Solyanka soup is great in a winter evening with some nice freshly baked bread, home made preferably! Give it a try and the Solyanka soup may become your favourite
Made it for my Russian girlfriend, we both loved it and will be making it again! Thank you
Hi Tom, I am glad you both liked this soup. Thank you for your comment!
thanks for the recie, i’ll cook it for my brothers, they visit me next week ^_^ i’m sure they’ll love it.
Thank you for your comment and good luck with the recipe. I hope your brothers will love the solyanka!
I haven’t made it yet but it looks good and reminds me of a favourite Spanish dish, Fabada, which uses salted and smoked meats.
One small point – for serving you suggest chopped Dill or PARSNIP, I think you probably mean PARSLEY, which is a herb, parsnip is a root vegetable 😉
Hi, thanks for your comment. I believe you can find a similar dish with smoked meats in many national cuisines as smoking was a popular method of preserving meats for the winter.
Thank you for noticing my mistake with parsley. I have just corrected it.
Many thanks! I’ve been looking for a good recipe for Solyanka for ages as it’s one of my very favourite things to eat when I’m in Ukraine and Belarus. This was perfect to work from and I love the addition the paprika. It’s become a firm favourite with my sister’s family also.
Thanks for your comment, Rosemary! I am glad both you and your sister like the recipe
Made this for my in – laws in Belarus a week ago , making it again today before I leave for England. Firm Favourite.
Thanks for the comment, Mark! I am glad your family likes the soup. Have a safe journey home
Thank you for the best solyanka recipe on the Internet. It is delicious, easy to make, and it tastes like the famous solyanka served on the train restaurants during the Soviet times. You can add the meat of your choice. To give a Russian flavor, my meat selection included Alex sausages (Polish type of sausage) and kareika (Russian bacon).
Thank you very much for your comment. You are very kind!
Yes, you can use different types of meat. We don’t have koreika or Alex sausages but we have very nice Polish Silesian sausages (slightly smoked)
Can you send me an e-mail in Russian that says “salted pickles”? I live in New York City but have to take a long trip to Brighton Beach where the Russian food shop is. I don’t want to get the wrong thing. If you write it in Russian, I can print it out and show it. This soup sounds so delicious–I can’t wait until the weather gets a little colder so I can warm myself up.
Oh, and also, can you write in Russian “pickled tomatoes”? I understand that this is also a Russian specialty.
Thanks for your interest in Russian food, again. I just sent you an e-mail with the Russian names for the pickles. Hope you will receive it alight