Friday, February 14, 2014

A Solyanka Soup Diary

Although I enjoyed many a Greek salad in Greece, fish and chips in England, and wonderful cheeses in France, there was no better cultural food I enjoyed more than the Solyanka soups I had during my time in Eastern Europe. Solyanka is a spicy and sour soup that can transform its self with nearly anything you have around your kitchen. It is most often make with left over meat but you can also have it with mushrooms or fish.  

It is nearly always served with black olives but the best bowl I ever ate had a green olive in it. Lemon slices and a dollop of sour cream are also mandatory.  It seems to me the cheaper the meat the better and I could never imagine a steak quality meat in it dish. Some of the best I've had seemed to be bologna or mystery meat. Which leads to another point, there has to be a nice sheen of oil on top of from all the blending ingredients. My favorite also had edible lemon slices [peels cut off] and some just added the slices for a burst of sour. As I said, there are a million varieties which is part of the fun.  

Here are photos of nearly every Solyanka dish I had while in Ukraine and Latvia and they demonstrate the variety of the soup . I'm sure I missed a soup here and here but I don't think I missed too many. 

Enjoyed March 4th, 2013

Enjoyed April 4th, 2013

Enjoyed March 8th, 2013

Enjoyed March 10th, 2013

Enjoyed March 28th, 2013

Enjoyed April 1st, 2013

Enjoyed May 9th, 2013

Enjoyed February 11th, 2013

Enjoyed February 15th, 2013

Enjoyed March 6th, 2013

Enjoyed March 14th, 2013

Enjoyed March 26th, 2013

Every other Solyanka soup I had was from a restaurant or cafe except this last one. This particular soup came to our kitchen from our friends in the Kharkiv Rotary Club and was the only true "home made" dish that we had.

And here they are all together:

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