Monday, 16 April 2012

Vegetarian Solyanka

Traditional solyanka (lit. salty) is a meat-based Russian soup, but there are several vegetarian versions of solyanka for Lent. It is a tasty soup, perfect for a cold day. Some add cabbage to this soup, some use walnuts, there are different ratios of potatoes/pickled cucumbers.

Vegetarian Solyanka
2 medium potatoes
2 medium pickled cucumbers
olives (about 1/3 standard mug)
1 tbsp capers
2 tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 mushroom
1 garlic clove (or more if you like)
1 onion (or more)
2 tsps olive oil
several walnuts, finely chopped or crushed (about 1/4 of a standard mug)
fresh flat leaf parsely and soured cream to serve with

a slice of lemon (optional)

Start with chopping the onion very finely and frying with the olive oil. Add the finely chopped cucumbers, mushroom and a clove of garlic (either chopped or use a tsp of lazy garlic from a jar) to the onions and fry until the onion is translucent. Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste and mix well.
In the meantime chop potatoes, put them in the big saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer. Add chopped tomatoes, capers and the onion/garlic/cucumber mix.
Chop the walnuts very finely or crush them in the mortar with the pestle (not too smoothly), add to the soup.
You might also add a vegetable stock cube if you like.
As for the olives, you add them nearer the end, you might slice them or keep whole, it is a matter of personal aesthetics.
Don't add salt until the very end, you might find you don't need much, as the olives, capers and cucumbers are salty enough.
Once the potatoes are cooked, the soup is done.
This soup is traditionally served with a dollop of the soured cream, chopped herbs and a slice of lemon (with the skin removed, though personally I like it on). Enjoy!

I am submitting my recipe for No Croutons Required monthly challenge hosted by a blog Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa's Kitchen.

This month these two fab bloggers asked you to look into your cupboard for any antipasti in jars you can find and cook a dish with them. I used olives (not sure pickled cucumbers can be classified as antipasti as such, though in Russia they are certainly often served as antipasti).


  1. Going to give this a try next week, looks lovely!

  2. I've never had a soup with pickled cucumbers and olives, which I both like, so this soup appeals to me. I am bookmarking it. What olives did your use, was it green?

  3. Hi Shaheen, I used Queen olives (green), but you can use black as well.

  4. That looks positively delicious. :-)

  5. Great - my sister-in-law is a vegetarian and I think I might make this for her coming over next week! Thanks

    1. Thank you Tracy! I think it's a super soup for this weather too, very heart-warming and comforting. I love all pickles in soups, makes them more zingy.

  6. Hello Galina! I've just tried this recipe at home for the first time (live in Finland and tasted it in a canteen, salmon version) and it is really delicious! I've made some changes though: I used beans instead of mushrooms, no walnuts, and fresh dill before serving, instead of parsley. Thank you for the inspiration! Ana

    1. Hi Ana, so lovely of you to tell me that you tried the recipe! Your version sounds delicious too! :)