Solianka or Russian Beef Soup

In a land of harsh winters, it’s no surprise that soul-warming soups are a mainstay. Undoubtedly the most recognizable to Westerners is borscht, a beet soup served with sour cream. Cabbage, potato, fish and mushroom soups provide additional comfort during the long Russian winter. “This is a traditional Russian soup that is served as a meal by itself. Vodka is usually served with it. Garnish with fresh lemon slices and sour cream.”


  • 55 gm dried mushrooms
  • 180 ml water
  • 115 gm unsalted butter
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 190 gm cooked diced veal
  • 115 gm diced soy ham
  • 115 g kosher kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1890 ml beef stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 dill pickles, diced
  • 15 gm capers
  • 12 marinated mushrooms
  • 100 gm can Italian-style whole peeled tomatoes
  • 30 gm tomato paste
  • 10 gm all-purpose flour
  • 12 kalamata olives
  • 10 gm chopped fresh dill weed
  • 0.2 gm dried marjoram
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 60 ml dill pickle juice
  • 2 gm Hungarian sweet paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste


  • Soak mushrooms in 3/4 cup water until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside.
  • Melt half the butter and saute the onions, meats, and rehydrated mushrooms. Add the stock and liquid from the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Make a bouquet garni by tying the bay leaves and peppercorns tightly in cheesecloth. Lower the heat and add the bouquet garni, pickles, capers, and marinated mushrooms. Simmer 10-15 minutes.
  • Melt remaining butter in a skillet and cook the tomatoes and tomato paste for a few minutes, then add the flour and saute for another few minutes. Add a cup of the soup to the skillet and stir in well, then return pan ingredients to the soup pot.
  • Add the olives, dill, marjoram, garlic, pickle juice, and paprika. Adjust soup’s seasoning with salt and pepper; simmer another 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and remove bouquet garni. Adjust seasonings and serve with sour cream and lemon.

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