Russian Solyanka


Russian Solyanka

Jennifer Wolfgramm - Missionary wife
Course Soup
Cuisine Russian
Servings 8


  • 4 medium potatoes cut in chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 2/3 cup boiled sausage diced
  • 2/3 cup smoked sausage diced
  • 2/3 cup ham diced
  • 3 medium pickles cut in short sticks
  • 1/2 cup pickle juice
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 3 tbsp oil for frying
  • 2-3 carrots cut in short sticks
  • 2 onions diced
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Lemon thinly sliced
  • Olives
  • Sour cream


  • Put the potatoes, garlic, bay leaves, and broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add in the meats, pickles, pickle juice, and capers to the pot. Keep at a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add in the carrots and onions and cook until the onions are translucent. Add in the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Then ladle out about 1 ½ cups of broth from the pot with the potatoes and add it to the carrots. Stir gently. Let the carrot mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the carrot mixture into the big pot of soup. Stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • To serve, ladle some soup into each bowl. Carefully place on top of each serving a thin slice of lemon, 3-4 olives, and a dallop of sour cream. Each person should stir in the sour cream before eating. Serve with hearty bread.


My friend Marina said about Solyanka, "Russians make solyanka like Americans make pizza. Just open up the refrigerator, see what you've got, and throw it in!" :-) That's not exactly true, but it makes me smile. Don't skip the olives, lemon and sour cream on top - they make all the difference! Solyanka is one of our family's favorite Russian foods. Here in the eastern part of Germany where we now live, solyanka is a well-known soup because of the history of East Germany and the Russian influence on cuisine.
Keyword Europe, Russian