Ukraine is often called the breadbasket of Europe. This nickname has been ascribed to them due to the fertile land and abundant types of vegetables and grains that are produced throughout this large country. As you would expect the cuisine of Ukraine incorporates all of their vast resources, such as grains, potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms and of course beets into the staple recipes of the ancient peasant residence of the country that have been handed down through the years.
While the traditional dishes have a basic recipe, you will find that the dishes will change from family to family. Each family will tweak the recipe to fit their particular taste. There are so many fantastic foods in Ukraine, but as I am writing this in early summer I am highlighting a popular cold summer soup called Окрошка (Okroshka). I made this soup for the first time a couple of weeks ago and found it to be cool and refreshing for these hot summer days!
I found the recipe on Pinterest at Natashaskitchen, and sticking with the tradition of adjusting for taste I did make some changes to it. Here is the original recipe.
8 cups of cold water
1/3 cup sour cream
3 1/2 Tbs vinegar-divided
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbs chopped dill
1/2 cup green onion finely chopped
1/2 lb ham diced
3-4 med potatoes cooked- peeled and diced
3 hard boiled eggs diced 3-4 cucumbers diced
Peel potatoes and dice them into 1/4” cubes. place diced potatoes in a medium pot and cover with water. Add 1 Tbs vinegar and bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked but not falling apart. Drain and set aside to cool.
Boil eggs and cool them in ice water. Dice eggs, cucumbers and ham.
Then chop 3 Tbs dill and 1/2 cup of green onions and place in a large pot.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together 8 cups of cold water, 1/3 cup sour cream, 2 1/2 Tbs vinegar, 2 1/2 tsp salt until combined.
Pour the mixture in the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine and serve.
This recipe is fantastic! I personally doubled the amount of salt, sour cream and vinegar.
I always recommend trying a recipe as is first, then make adjustments as you see fit!
Would love to hear if you tried this dish and how you modified it.