This Cold Summer Soup or “Okroshka” in Russian features all typical summer garden veggies: radishes, cucumbers, fresh dill and green onions. It’s also loaded with lots of healthy protein like potatoes, chicken meat, and pastured eggs. All combined together in a yogurt base that makes you say…Ahhhhh!
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Nothing reminds me more of summer than the fresh concoction of all things good in a bowl with homemade yogurt. The crunchy cucumbers paired with zesty radishes and of course the lingering aroma of fresh dill, preferably picked from your own garden. This is the scent of long days and toasty nights with the windows opened wide for fresh breeze.
Cold Summer Soup – “Okroshka”
Okroshka is served cold hence the Cold Summer Soup title. This is our go-to on as a refreshing meal on a hot summer’s day. The ingredients are light and airy but the potatoes and eggs definitely add substance to this soup. And of course, who can forget the superstar of this dish, yogurt or buttermilk rich in probiotics and live enzymes. Traditionally, this light soup was served with real, cultured bread kvass. The kind where the live bacteria feasted on the sugars and left it unsweetened and fizzy, almost beer-like. That is the only kind of okroshka my dad will ever eat. In order to keep things conventional, we have opted to use homemade cultured yogurt for our Cold Summer Soup.
If the thought of eating a cold soup is off-putting, consider this a liquid salad. In fact, I prefer it on the thick side but my husband and kids love it more runny. All chopped ingredients are enveloped in a lassi-type mixture.
Okroshka can be prepared with any meat: veal, chicken, beef, sausages, even good quality, organic hot-dogs. Bologna seems to be the most popular choice in the Slavic households but in the spirit of keeping this ‘clean’, I swap that with cooked chicken, leftover from roast chicken or meat picked off from bones after bone broth.
Lassi is to this Cold Summer Soup as bone broth is to chicken noodle soup. Both are important but they both serve different purposes. Lassi is a popular Indian dairy drink that is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and sometimes even fruit. Lassi has different flavors depending on what is included, but the lassi used in this soup consists of yogurt, water, lemon or lime juice and salt. Use a ratio of 1:1 of water to yogurt, or whatever suits your fancy. I prefer my cold soup to be a little thicker so I use less of the water and more yogurt, though the rest of the family prefers it to be more on the thin side. Experiment and see what is more tasty to you.
Also, any fermented dairy can be used in this recipe. Because I almost always have homemade yogurt on hand, that is my gold standard for this soup. Buttermilk, kefir, even creme fraiche mixed well with water can all be used interchangeably, you would just have to experiment with the amount of water and salt.
- Make a double batch of the dry ingredients and stir in the lassi just before serving. Doing so assures crunchy cucumbers and radishes.
- This can be served any time of day, even as a snack.
- If you’re on a healing diet and are avoiding potatoes, simple omit them and double eggs and meat source for extra sustenance.
- I usually use leftover chicken from roast chicken or meat from chicken broth. I’ve also used grass-fed, clean hot-dogs, diced.
- Use this chopper to dice all the veggies, effortlessly and precisely.
Enjoy this refreshing summer garden soup on a scorching day and be nourished.
Cold Summer Soup - Okroshka
- 2 small yukon potatoes , cooked & cooled
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 6-8 radishes
- 2 small cucumbers
- 1 cups meat protein: leftover chicken , grass fed hotdogs, etc..
- 1 bunch of fresh dill or parsley
- 4 sprigs of green onions or chives
- 2 quarts of yogurt , buttermilk, kefir
- 2 quarts filtered water
- 2 limes or lemons
- 1/2 + teaspoon unrefined salt (my pick)
- Dice potatoes, eggs, radishes, and cucumbers. This tool will make the job exponentially easier and quicker.
- Chop meat protein into small pieces. Chop fresh dill or parsley and green onions.
- Toss chopped ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Pour over the dry ingredients and stir well.
- Season with more salt as needed. Enjoy cold.
-To extend shelf life, keep the dry ingredients separate from the lassi. Stir in lassi just before serving.
-If you are avoiding potatoes for health reasons, simply omit them and double the protein for extra sustenance.
-Meat source can be leftover chicken, grass fed hot dogs, or any other clean meat.