Russia is a vast and wondrous country. The land can seem harsh but there is so much more than meets the eye in Russia. Get to know the country a little better with a rich bowl of Russian soup!
This impressive, but rarely understood country has something for everyone to connect with but no Russian wonder compares to the wonders found in bowls across the country. Soups in Russia are second to none and full of inventive and desirable flavors.
What Is Special About Russian Soups
The soups in Russia are the result of tons of culinary techniques and ingenuity. Russian cooks have inspired great chefs worldwide for centuries with their remarkable understanding of flavor and temperature. No food is a greater testament to that tradition than Russian soup.
Balance is the key to Russian cuisine. Their soups balance sour, salty, and sweet in perfect measure to craft some unforgettable flavors. There is also a satisfying balance of temperature. In Russia there is a soup for every season, so you can find delicious flavors by the bowlful all year round.
Most Famous Russian Soup
Russian Borscht (Russian Beet Soup)
Possibly the most internationally famous Russian food of all time is borscht. Russian cuisine is sometimes understood, but delicious borscht is no myth. It is a sumptuous celebration of some of the best flavors grown in Russia and for many locals, this dish is pure comfort.
Borscht is a type of Russian beet soup. Traditional ingredients include beef, cabbage, onion, and of course beets. The beets give this iconic soup its bright color.
This hearty and rich soup is traditionally served in the summertime as one of the most famous cold soups in Russia. The bright and satisfying flavors will have you shouting for more of this classic Russian soup!
Traditional Hot Russian Soups
Rassolnik (Pickle Soup)
If you overindulged in some beautiful Russian vodka, have no fear because the locals have just the cure, rassolnik. This awesome Russian soup is a trusted hangover cure and so much more!
This hot Russian soup is made with liquid from pickled cucumbers, pearl barley, and kidney meat, typically from pork or beef. It has just the right combination of sour and savory to make you come back for more, and it really might help your stomach after a long night!
Ukha (Fish Soup)
Not only does Russia have plenty of coastlines, but they also have access to the Caspian Sea and both areas have inspired a strong Russian love of all foods from the deep. This luscious take on seafood soup has everything you want in a soup from amazing broth to delicious chunks of meat and vegetables.
This hot Russian soup is all about broth. It is fishy and full of exciting flavors from the spices Russian chefs use in this classic dish, like pepper, nutmeg, saffron, and fennel seed. Even more flavors are brought in through the addition of fresh fish and vegetables.
Pike, ruffe, and even catfish are favored for this dish and some bold Russian fishers will add a shot of vodka to stiffen up the soup. Ukha is the comforting favorite you want on a cold Russian evening.
Solyanka Soup (Sour Meat Soup)
This bright Russian soup is a medley of all of the locals’ favorite flavors. Solyanka soup is a true testament to the flavors and creativity of Russian chefs. This soup is made with all of Russia’s favorite things like beef, mushrooms, pickled cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage, smetana, and dill.
The briny pickled cucumbers give this hot soup a wonderful salty and fermented flavor and the smetana, Russian sour cream, balances the sour notes perfectly. It only takes one bite of this complex soup to understand how truly wonderful Russian food is!
Shchi (Russian Cabbage Soup)
Everyone living in Russia has a favorite preparation of shchi that they eat all the time. This delicious Russian soup is a traditional cabbage soup, but several varieties exist.
Some use sauerkraut to bring a pickled flavor to the soup; whereas, others add sorrel to cabbage for a fresh green take. Stewed cabbage and spices make the perfect base for other soup additions; some chefs will add potatoes, carrots, and herbs to give this soup more flavor and Shchi is enjoyed warm.
Schavel Borscht (Sorrel Soup)
This popular Russian soup was actually born in Ukraine, but residents throughout Russia love this hot soup on a cold day. Schavel borscht is a variation of borscht made with sorrel instead of beets. The sorrel has a great sour flavor that pops in this fresh-flavored soup.
Cubed meat, potatoes, eggs, and dill all add to the flavor profile of this irresistible soup. This hot Russian soup is the perfect way to enjoy some fresh herbal flavors while still getting plenty of delicious meat!
Klotski (Chicken and Dumpling Soup)
Russian dumplings are world-renowned and many Russians enjoy dumplings in soups, like Klotski. This delectable Russian food is a comforting bowl of meaty broth and potato dumplings.
The preferred protein for this soup is chicken, but kielbasa is a common addition. Wonderful potato dumplings are stewed in an unctuous broth along with chunks of chicken and vegetables to make a soup that could cheer even the lowest spirits.
Enjoy this hot Russian soup on a cold day or when you have the blues for some delicious Russian comfort!
Gribno-Kartofel’nyy Sup (Mushroom and Potato Soup)
Mushrooms are a true staple of Russian cuisine. They are easy to find throughout Russia and they bring great earthiness and umami flavor to many Russian favorites, like Mushroom and Potato soup. This hot Russian soup is an autumnal favorite in Russia and its tempting flavors will have you dreaming of a second bowl!
This decadent soup starts with mushrooms, potatoes, and plenty of butter! The butter adds a rich, creamy flavor to the soup. Meaty broth and plenty of fresh herbs, like dill and parsley are added to layer in irresistible savory flavor. Smetana is sometimes used to finish a perfect Russian soup with truly local flavor!
Traditional Cold Russian Soups
Okroshka (Creamy Summer Soup)
Not everyone associates Russia with warm weather. However, the summers can get quite hot here so locals turn to food to cool them down. One must-have for the Russian summer is Okroshka. It is a cold Russian soup that residents wait all year for!
The flavors of Okroshka bring summer to mind with every spoonful. It is a decadent and fresh-flavored dish that truly celebrates local Russian flavors. This creamy soup starts with a base of kvass and sour cream then the summer vegetables are piled in, like cucumbers, radishes, and spring onions.
The addition of boiled potatoes, eggs, and meat makes this soup hearty enough to fill anyone’s appetite. Enjoy this cool soup like a local by eating it on a warm summer day in Russia.
Botvinya (Sour Beet Soup)
In Russia, summertime means one thing, cold soup season! Nobody makes cold soups as skillfully as Russian chefs. They have so many delicious offerings to satisfy that summer soup craving, but Botvinya is an absolute must-try!
Botvinya is a cold Russian soup made with fish, meaty broth, kvass, beets, and sometimes herbs and seasonings. Both beetroots and beet leaves are used to create even more beet flavor in this dish.
The traditional serving of this cold Russian soup is to serve the fish in one bowl, the broth in another, and finally a bowl of ice cubes, but today’s recipes tend to simplify the dish by serving it in one bowl.
Discovering Traditional Russian Soups
There are few foods as versatile or comforting as Russian soup. Discovering a new culture can feel so intimidating, but when you explore through the lens of their food it all seems so simple! Get to know more about who Russians really are and what life is really like with an inviting spoonful of Russian soup!