Summer heat is ideal time for cold soups. As a rule, the first dish that comes to mind when such a phrase is mentioned is okroshka. A similar dish is found in one form or another among many peoples of Asia. Russia is no exception, where there are many recipes for the preparation of mouth-watering dishes.
So, what is added to okroshka most often? And what ingredients have only gourmets enjoyed so far? And what "broth" can you use for it?
There are several types of okroshka:
All options are based on a mixture of boiled and fresh vegetables, herbs and eggs. By and large, it is not forbidden to put any ingredients that are combined with each other in okroshka. Most often, you cannot do without potatoes cooked in their skins, as well as radishes and cucumbers. But you can also find recipe options indicating the addition of carrots, beets or turnips.
The choice of greens added to okroshka depends entirely on the preferences of the hostess and the products on hand. The most common "guests" of the dish are, perhaps, green onions, dill and parsley. But there is no doubt that you can put celery, tarragon and other herbs in it.
Not a single okroshka recipe is complete without eggs. And in the vegetarian version of the dish, they even take the place of meat or fish. The eggs are hard boiled, peeled, and then diced or crumpled with a fork. Some of the yolks can be used to create a dressing.
Any type of lean meat will work for cold meat soup. For example, you can mix beef and chicken breast. The selected pieces must be boiled in salted water and cooled. It is also allowed to use sausages instead of meat. In this case, preference is given to boiled sausages or sausages.
Fish okroshka is excellently obtained from sturgeon, cod, tench or pike perch. However, other options are also possible. But when choosing, you should give preference to lean types with sweet meat and a small amount of bones. The fish must also be boiled in salted water before being placed in the soup.
Exotic and not only
However, today you can find quite exotic ingredients in okroshka. For example, some chefs like to add shrimp, lobster, or other seafood to their cold soup. There are also recipes that mention the use of crab sticks instead of meat or fish.
It is quite common to replace cucumbers with cabbage of all varieties, rutabagas or young zucchini. Sweet red peppers or green peas can decorate the soup and add spice to it. You can also diversify okroshka by putting pickles in it: sauerkraut, pickled mushrooms or cucumbers. But it is better to refuse pickled vegetables: with them the dish will become overly spicy.
What is added to okroshka besides the traditional kvass - purchased or homemade, which should be practically savory?
- kefir mixed with lemon juice, mineral water or chilled liquid obtained from chicken cubes and boiling water;
- curdled milk diluted with water.
Water in the last two versions can be replaced with ice for quick cooling of the drink.
There are recipes in which the "broth" is beer or even dry wine. Both ingredients successfully replace kvass in fish okroshka. But these dishes can hardly be considered suitable for family meals.
Of course, okroshka cannot be imagined without sour cream or mayonnaise. But horseradish, mustard, vinegar can give it additional sharpness and brightness. It should be borne in mind that horseradish is more suitable for the fish variety of the dish and is added directly to kvass, and mustard mixed with herbs at the first stage of preparation is for meat. Vinegar will perfectly revive all okroshka varieties.
Many housewives make a special dressing for cold soup. It consists of boiled egg yolks, mustard, salt, sugar and a small amount of kvass. After mixing the ingredients, the mass is cooled, and before serving, add to the rest of the kvass.
The principle of preparation
The active stage of making okroshka takes very little time. But first you need to cook vegetables that require preliminary heat treatment - beets, carrots, potatoes, turnips - and eggs. Then they should be cooled and cleaned.
All cooked greens must be washed, chopped and mashed in a saucepan, adding salt, until they settle and become juiced. Pre-chopped vegetables, meat or fish should be put in the same dish. There are no strict proportions of the ratio of different components. They should be cut into cubes, observing the rule: the rougher the product, the smaller the pieces should be. This will ensure a homogeneous mass.
The ingredients must be mixed thoroughly and placed in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes. Place the base on the plates just before serving. Then it can be poured with the selected liquid and flavored with sour cream. Topping up the soup is recommended to taste; black pepper is also allowed.
Okroshka is considered not only the most popular cold dish, but also a wonderful hangover reliever. In addition, it is very much loved by many housewives for the opportunity to use many leftovers from the refrigerator during its preparation. This property makes okroshka akin to Italian pizza and opens up wide horizons for experimentation. Only during their implementation should one take into account the compatibility of potential ingredients with each other and with the chosen filling option!.