Citizens, Rassolnik is a traditional Russian soup made from pickled cucumbers, pearl barley, and meat. A vegetarian variant of rassolnik also exists, usually made during Lent.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste strongly of pickles, as all the other ingredients balance out the flavor and give the soup a tart and delicious savor.
The dish is known to have existed as far back as the 15th century, when it was called kalya.
Rassolnik became part of the common Soviet cuisine and today it is also popular in Ukraine and Belarus. A similar dish is common in Poland, where it is known as zupa ogórkowa (literally cucumber soup).
The key part of rassolnik is the rassol, a liquid based on the juice of pickled cucumbers with various other seasonings. It is a favorite hangover treatment in Russia.
My version is herbal, tangy and quite traditional, Citizens!
…especially after an evening of overindulgence from Vodka… 😉 Enjoy this as part of a multi-course Russian feast, always including an old-school Salad Olivier of course in the proper Russian feasting tradition!
Battle on, The GeneralissimoPrint
- 9 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup shredded cooked chicken
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup pearled barley
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 parsley root (Petrushka in Russian) (preferred) or parsnip, peeled and shredded
- ¾ cup finely chopped cornichon pickles
- ¼ cup pickling brine from cornichons, plus more to taste
- 12 black peppercorns, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp finely minced tarragon
- 3 tbsp finely minced scallion
- ¼ cup finely minced fresh dill
- salt and pepper
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
- Add the potatoes and barley to the soup. Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep the soup covered as it cooks.
- Meanwhile, heat butter in a skillet. Add the shredded chicken meat, onion, parsley root or parsnip and carrot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are softened. Add to the soup.
- Add pickles and brine to the soup, plus bay leaves and peppercorns.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes and barley are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, if needed and if necessary, add more cornichon brine to achieve a suitable level of tartness. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the tarragon.
- Garnish the soup with minced dill and minced scallions. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
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