A combination of crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs and cold kvass or kefir with water – okroshka is the perfect meal on hot summer days. It tastes refreshing, light and incredibly delicious. Served on the terrace, in the garden or on the balcony for lunch or dinner, Russian cold soup is a pure pleasure, which is also healthy and filling. Here I show you how to make the Russian summer soup vegetarian yourself. A detailed okroshka recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions can be found below.
Okroshka: what is it?
Okroshka (pronounced akroshka) is a Russian cold soup made with various vegetables, especially cucumbers and radishes, fresh herbs, boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. In the non-vegetarian version, sausage or boiled meat is added. All ingredients are cut into small cubes, mixed and then diluted either with kvass, with natural yogurt and water or with kefir and water. Often some mustard is added for spiciness. The Russian cold soup is served with a blob of sour cream. There are many different okroshka recipes – everyone makes it according to his taste. It is very popular in summer and is one of the most famous summer soups in Russia. It is hard to imagine a hot day without the cold soup.
Okroshka or akroshka?
The correct spelling for the Russian summer soup is “okroshka”. However, it is pronounced as “akroshka” because in Russian the letter “o” is pronounced in unstressed position like the sound “a”. Unfortunately, in the meantime, in some recipes on the Internet you can find the wrong spelling “akroshka” for the Russian cold soup.
Okroshka vegetarian – tastier than the original
In Russia, the cold soup is often made with sausage or boiled meat. But if you omit the ingredient, you get a vegetarian okroshka. In my opinion, it tastes even better than the original – it is much lighter and summery in taste. Alternatively, you can add vegan sausage alternative to the summer soup. Vegan Lyoner is the best choice. Cut it into small cubes just like the vegetables and eggs and mix with the other ingredients.
Russian summer soup with kvass
Okroshka is often made with kvass instead of dairy products. If you want to make your cold soup with the Russian bread drink as well, you will need to substitute kefir or plain yogurt and water for kvass in the recipe below. Make sure your kvass is really cold so that the summer soup tastes refreshing. Prepare all the other ingredients exactly as the recipe says. The kvass should taste sour and not sweet. So pay attention to the sugar content when you buy the drink. It is best to make kvass for okroshka yourself, because the bread drink from the supermarket usually contains too much sugar. So with bought kvass the cold soup would taste sweet. In combination with vegetables and herbs it is not tasty at all. In the article Kvass – the best recipe for the refreshing Russian bread drink, I explain how to make the most suitable bread drink for okroshka.
Ideal cold soup for summer
Okroshka tastes fresh and light. It contains a lot of crunchy vegetables and fresh aromatic herbs. Besides, you can prepare Russian cold soup very quickly from simple ingredients. This makes it an ideal meal on hot summer days, when you don’t feel like cooking but still want to eat something healthy and fresh.
Serve and store Russian cold soup
Serve the Russian summer soup cold. Potatoes and eggs should be cooled down after cooking before adding them to the soup. Kefir or natural yogurt and water used to dilute okroshka should be cold. If you use kvass to dilute the summer soup, it must also be straight from the refrigerator. Depending on your taste, serve okroshka with a blob of sour cream and some mustard.
Store okroshka in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 3 days. You can cut the vegetables, boiled potatoes and eggs in advance, mix them together, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container and only before serving add finely chopped fresh herbs and dilute with liquid.
This okroshka is
with lots of crunchy vegetables,
easy and quick to prepare from common ingredients,
ideal summer soup,
classic of Russian cuisine.
Vegetarian okroshka recipe
The exact quantities and step-by-step instructions, according to which you can make the Russian cold soup okroshka vegetarian yourself, you will find below in the box recipe.
The okroshka recipe is very simple. You can whip it up in a flash, especially if you have already cooked the potatoes and eggs.
For the vegetarian okroshka you will need
fresh herbs (I used spring onions and dill),
kefir or natural yogurt,
and salt to taste the cold soup.
Instead of using kefir or yogurt and water, you can make Russian summer soup with kvass. For that, read my notes here above. You can serve okroshka with some sour cream.
How to make Okroshka: this is how you do it
Chop vegetables, eggs and herbs and put them in a saucepan or mixing bowl.
Add kefir or natural yogurt and cold water, mix everything and season with salt. The Russian summer soup is ready!
How to make Russian cold soup: tips and tricks
Add more herbs to the cold soup according to your taste.
You can cut vegan sausage into small cubes and add it to the okroshka. Vegan lyoner is the best choice for this.
It is best to cook potatoes and eggs for okroshka a day in advance and let them cool down overnight. The next day they will be easier to cut into small cubes and will not fall apart.
You can make both natural yogurt and kefir for Russian summer soup yourself.
Instead of yogurt or kefir you can also use buttermilk.
You can adjust the amount of water depending on how thick you like the soup.
Instead of ordinary water you can use mineral water.
You can spice up your okroshka with some mustard and give it some spiciness. It is best to use homemade hot mustard.
Instead of kefir or yogurt you can prepare your okroshka with kvass. To do this, omit kefir or plain yogurt and water from the recipe below and use about 1 l of kvass instead.
Keep okroshka in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 3 days.
You can cut the vegetables, boiled potatoes and eggs in advance, mix them together and store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Before serving, you would then have to add finely chopped fresh herbs and dilute everything with liquid.
A combination of crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs and cold kvass or kefir with water – okroshka is the perfect meal on hot summer days. It tastes refreshing, light and incredibly delicious. Served on the terrace, in the garden or on the balcony for lunch or dinner, Russian cold soup is a pure pleasure, which is healthy and filling to boot. According to this recipe you can make the Russian summer soup vegetarian yourself.