Monday, June 26, 2017

Okroshka- A Cold Russian Yogurt Soup

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Russian Yogurt soup

Okroshka or Russian Kefir soup is as delicious as it is refreshing.

On hot humid days,  there is nothing like an icy cold bowl of soup.
I know, it's hard to warm up to cold soup- but I assure you this authentic Russian recipe for Okroshka will win you over. 

Let's face it, who wants to cook when it's really hot and humid? This soup requires no cooking and is 
a nourishing thick soup that is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. This delightful soup is fast and easy to make and naturally gluten free.

Moscow city

I wish I could say that I was introduced to this exotic soup on a trip to Russia, but that is not the case. My husband and I were traveling through the northern part of Miami in Florida about 20 minutes north of South Beach.

We enjoy ethnic restaurants and found an Uzbekistan restaurant called Chayanya Oasis located in Sunny Isles Beach.

The food is a fusion of Russian and Middle Eastern cultures and is served on beautiful dinnerware in a truly authentic atmosphere. We ate there on a Saturday night when there was live music and dancing to boot.

Sunny Isles Beach, Florida or what is often referred to as "Little Moscow" boasts a flourishing Russian community; some of the Russian community are residents, some are snow birds, and others are vacationers.

You would assume that Spanish would be the primary language anywhere near Miami  but not in Sunny Isles. It seems like the primary language is Russian and there are many Russian food markets, Russian restaurants, Russian pharmacies, and other Russian owned businesses.

Samavur - Russian Tea Set
Russian Samovar Tea Set 

 Chayhana Oasis is run by Russian immigrants. This soup and the entire evening was a delightful experience as we indulged in interesting food, drank, danced to lively Russian and American music, and had a heck of a time!

Russian Dolls


Our waiter spoke English well, gave us great service, and had an awareness of which foods were gluten free- which was helpful to me. Okroshka was one of the gluten free items on the menu.

Although I usually shy away from carbs like potatoes, the small amount of potatoes in this recipe are cooked in advance and cooled immediately, making the potatoes what they call "resistant starch" which is supposed to be digested differently than when potatoes are hot.

Resistant starch is not absorbed as glucose but instead can actually break down into short chain fatty acids aided by the bacteria in our intestines- thus supposedly helping with weight loss.

I tried to duplicate the recipe that we ate in the restaurant at home, and this is what I came up with. Feel free to increase or decrease the herbs and vegetables to your liking.

Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 10 minutes ( if eggs and potatoes are cooked the night before)
Cook Time:


Ingredients:

2 medium cooked potatoes,  cubed very small
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped very fine
3 Persian cucumbers , peeled and diced very small
3 radishes, chopped very fine
1/4 cup chive  thinly chopped chives
1/4 cup finely diced dill
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
4 cups of plain whole milk yogurt or plain Kefir ( ok use 1% if you insist)
1 cup cold water ( add ice if don't have time to chill)
1/4- 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice ( to your taste)
Himalayan salt and cracked pepper to taste.


Directions:

Pour the kefir ( or yogurt) in a large bowl. Mix in the finely chopped eggs, finely cubed potatoes, the cucumbers,  radishes, chives, dill,  and parsley.  Add 1/2 cup of water and and 1/4 cup of lemon juice and mix. Chill in the refrigerator until very cold. Reserve the remaining liquid until serving and add the remaining liquid only if needed. Season and serve.

My Notes: 
1. My sister in law Joyci uses her Nutribullet to chop herbs ( parsley, dill, radishes, chives);
2. This needs be chilled for at least 6 hours to be really cold




I've linked this post to Souper Sunday
Kahakai Kitchen hosts Souper Sunday each week which is a blog carnival 
where you can link soup, salad, or sandwiches.

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25 comments:

  1. That looks like drinkable potato salad! YUM!

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    Replies
    1. Helene,
      That is very funny- didn't quite see it that way. Thanks for stopping by

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  2. This is defiantly a recipe I have to try! I'm one to try new things especially a summer soup!

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    Replies
    1. good for you liking to try new things. Hope you like it

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  3. Your story of meeting the unexpected Russian community near Miami is wonderful! Keffir is an ingredient that we eat (both alone and in recipes) quite a bit -- the chilled soup is a great addition to other ways to use it.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am just beginning to eat kefir. We have a raw grass fed cow milk dairy nearby and I'm loving the kefir..Thanks for stopping by and commenting

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  4. This looks so good. My grandfather was born in Russia, and we grew up eating many Russian foods, but this soup is new to me.

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    1. My grandparents were all from Russia and my grandmother made borsht and schav( sorrel soup)
      Did you ever have that? This soup was new to me too.. but it's good

      Delete
  5. What a delightful experience you had visiting that Russian restaurant. I keep kefir going all the time, as I have the live grains, but have never made anything like this. It sounds delicious, especially in this hot weather.

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    Replies
    1. We really did enjoy the experience and the food. I had the kefir soup and my husband had a vegetarian borsht that was also excellent.

      Delete
  6. Awesome! This sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jann,
      It is delicious and with the heat wave coming in , I'm sure you would enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Delete
  7. When I lived in Brooklyn, NY I knew of a very large Russian community there and I loved to dine and shop in the stores. I know I'd love this soup!

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    Replies
    1. I love finding little ethnic areas to dine. It's an opportunity to try so many different flavors of cooking. Florida seems to have many diverse neighborhoods.

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  8. I love the combination of this soup with the dill, it looks so good. Hope you have a great 4th of July weekend and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

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    Replies
    1. Miz Helen,
      I am a fan of fresh dill and especially like it with cucumbers and yogurt. Thanks for stopping by and commenting

      Delete
  9. This sounds delicious as well! Thank you for sharing at the Make it Pretty party at The Dedicated House! Hope you have a lovely weekend! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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    Replies
    1. Kathryn,
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I am new to Dedicated House but I am enjoying it and getting some great recipes and ideas.

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Thank you. If you like kefir and yogurt , you will like this soup

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  11. I have made a Persian soup with some of the same ingredients but this Russian one sounds delicious and perfect for the muggy weather we have been having here. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. There are probably many cultures that make a similar soup.I wouldn't be surprised if there is an Indian food version as well.

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  12. This looks so yummy and is unique to my experience. Fun post. Love the samovar.

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Thank you for your comment - I love the feedback and interaction

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