Everybody knows gazpacho. But people, who eat herring under the fur coat, meat jelly and other bizarre food are bound to have the most weird summer soup in the world, right? Right. We do have such soup. It is called Okroshka and I am going to tell you about it now.
Imagine you decided to make a soup of Coca Cola! What would you add to Coca Cola in such an unlikely event? Maybe some Russian salad? That is the closest description of Okroshka. And, yes, we find it very tasty and eat a lot of this soup in Summer!
Kvas is an amazing non-alcoholic beverage, invented about a thousand years ago. It is a fermented beverage, made of rye bread. Since it is a fermented beverage, it has traces of alcohol (about 1%), but you cannot really get drunk on kvas. Kvas is a natural and very healthy food – it is great for metabolism, cardiovascular system, hair and skin. It is also a fantastic thirst quenching beverage for a hot weather.
In old times people typically produced kvas at home, in Soviet times it was produced industrially, but was not bottled. If you wanted to buy kvas, you bought it from a street vendor, huge cistern on wheels. You could drink it on spot, from a provided glass mug, but you needed your own reservoir to carry it home. Typical reservoir was a metal one, called “bidon”. Now there are plenty brands of Kvas sold in supermarkets – in bottles and cans.
Chop all ingredients until you have a fine-cut salad as seen in the video. Put the salad in a soup bowl, pour kvas over, add a dollop of sour cream, stir and enjoy the soup! Yes, kvas is a bit sweet, but it does not spoil the taste. If you want to make it a bit more spicy, you either add more onions or you add a bit of horseradish (now in Moscow we have a special variety of Kvas for okroshka, which already has the horseradish added.
I found this video, it is in English and it illustrates how to make Okroshka quite well:
I never made kvas myself, it is available in any grocery store in Russia and is available in most Russian grocery stores abroad. But for those of you who do not have a Russian grocery store nearby – here is a brief recipe of bread kvas:
Making kvas from bread is the most traditional recipe, but people also make kvas of bread and beets. I found this video about making beets kvas, check it out:
Of course, such company as Coca Cola does not miss great marketing opportunities. See the video below, talking about Coca Cola preparing to produce kvas:
Coca Cola started to produce kvas in Russia in 2012. Since that time both drinks co-exist at the Russian market. I had both Coca Cola and Kvas at home today, so I did what I always wanted to do – look if one can distinguish Coca Cola from Kvas without trying the drink. See for yourself:
© 2016 Tatiana Golubeva. All rights reserved.