Perfect Summer Okroshka (Slavic Cold Soup) With Pork Ribs

  • Cook Time
    50 mins
  • Serving
  • Difficulty

Okroshka is a cold soup, which is very popular in Eastern Europe and is usually eaten in the summertime. Out of curiosity, I once decided to count how many okroshka recipes I know. I lost count after about a hundred. Ukrainians make okroshka using kvass, kefir, whey, ayran, mineral water or sour cream as a base. They make a meaty version by adding boiled sausage, chicken breast, boiled pork or beef. And that’s not it. Once I tried okroshka with boiled salmon and avocado – it was a little unusual, but delicious.

I also decided to experiment, so this time I made okroshka with a mix of kvass, whey, sour cream and American mustard. But before we get to the recipe, let me share some basic tips.

7 tips for making the best okroshka

  1. Okroshka is a spring-summer dish that is quite filling and very hydrating. You can adjust the calorie content of the dish to your liking. You can cook without protein – meat or fish – simply by combining radish, cucumber, celery and dill. True, this mix lacks a certain zest, but you can add, for example, a ripe avocado.
  2. Although okroshka is traditionally made with boiled meat, you can bake or even grill it instead. Just take a chicken breast, season it and throw it on the grill. Once it’s cooked through, add a dash of lemon juice and let it cool completely. Then dice the meat and add it to your soup. And you don’t have to use chicken – salmon or shrimp is also excellent.
  3. When making okroshka, you can finely dice or julienne the ingredients as you like. But stay away from the box grater! You should start your dish prep by chopping up the vegetables, so they have plenty of time to release their juices. Chop up the cucumber and radish, season them with a little salt, mix well to combine and then let them rest for a while. The more juice they release, the tastier your okroshka will be. Although radish and cucumber are traditional ingredients, you can spice things up by using bell peppers or a sweet onion.
  4. The traditional greens used in okroshka are dill springs, but you can experiment by adding parsley, some cilantro or basil, or even a few mint leaves. The finer the greens are cut, the more juice they will release. By the way, greens can also be seasoned with salt and left to rest for a while.
  5. You can eat your okroshka as soon as it’s done, or you can let it rest in the fridge for a few hours first to strengthen the flavor. It’s just like with borscht – some people like it freshly-made while others think it tastes better on the second day.
  6. You can add not only mustard to okroshka, but also horseradish, and if you like it even spicier, then you can also add chili peppers, or even wasabi.
  7. In restaurants, okroshka is often served in bowls made of ice – this way the dish can cool through completely and the presentation is beautiful. At home, you can simply add a couple of ice cubes to your plate.

How to make okroshka


For the base:

For the liquid:

Perfect Summer Okroshka (Slavic Cold Soup) With Pork Ribs: Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180C. Season the pork ribs with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, let cool, cut the meat off the bones and chop it up finely.

Step 2

Wash the vegetables and finely dice them. If you want a more flavorful soup, season them with salt, mix and let rest.

Step 3

Wash the dill, cut off the stem and chop finely.

Step 4

Prepare the liquid dressing. In a separate container, mix all the ingredients: 300 g of light kvass, 200g of whey or kefir, 100g of sour cream, 1 tsp. mild mustard and salt to taste.

Step 5

Place all ingredients in a large pot and pour the liquid dressing over them. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Cooking is easy!

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