Rassolnik (Russian: рассольник) is a Russian pickled cucumber soup that is famous for its salty and sour taste. It is prepared with vegetables and meat, typically beef.
Pickled cucumbers give this soup its signature aroma, while beef, pearl barley and potatoes make it a hearty main course meal. However, strict attention is paid to what other ingredients go into the soup. Herbs and spices also play an important role in the preparation of Rassolnik.
Cucumbers preserved with brine play the main role in the flavor profile of Rassolnik. When preparing, it is important to be careful that Rassolnik does not get too sour or salty. The ratio between neutral vegetables (carrots, beets, etc.) and salty (cucumber and brine) has to be set right for the right outcome.
We have opted for a simple and easy-to-prepare version of this dish. You can also use pork ribs instead of beef. However, it is recommended that the meat should be a bit streaky because lean meat doesn’t give off much flavor to the soup.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Rassolnik dates back to the time before refrigerators had been invented. As a result, people had to resort to other ways to preserve their food. Salt, incidentally, was one of the most effective ways of preserving vegetables.
During the middle ages, brined pickles were often used as a basis for the preparation of staple food in Russia. The amount and concentration of the brine varied so significantly that many different recipes were developed from them, the most famous being solyanka and rassolnik.
Russian Rassolnik Recipe
- Beef - 300g
- Pearl Barley - 50g
- Water - 1.5L
- Sour Cucumbers (alternatively, pickles) - 7pcs
- Brine (cucumber juice) - 250ml
- Medium Sized Potatoes - 3pcs
- Onion- 1pc
- Carrots- 2pcs
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Bay leaves - 3pcs
- Sour Cream - 4pcs
- Cut the beef into small pieces, put in a saucepan with water and cook for half an hour. If foam develops, skim off the meat, wash it and set it up again.
- Now add the pearl barley (you can also use rice or barley) and cook again for half an hour.
- While the beef and pearl barley simmer, cut the potatoes and onions into small cubes and grate the carrots.
- Add the potato cubes to the soup. In the meantime, fry the onion and carrot pieces with a tablespoon of oil for five minutes, then add both to the soup.
- Cut the pickles into strips and then let them stew together with the brine in a pan for five minutes before you can add them to the other ingredients.
- Now taste the soup and refine it with bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Let it cook for another ten minutes. In the meantime, chop the parsley into small pieces.
- Before serving, refine each plate with a tablespoon of sour cream and garnish with parsley.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Saturated Fat: 1.3gTrans Fat: 0.g