This is my go-to cold summer soup—tangy, tasty, healthy, crunchy, and delicious. I made it last weekend and have been eating it all week. I may have posted this last summer ((last time I made it). If so, bear with me. I posted a picture on the NYT Cooking Community page and got over seventy-five reactions and a few comments, so I thought it worth sharing again.
Okroshka is Russian, originally made with kefir, a fermented milk drink. You can make it with any combination of buttermilk, nonfat yogurt, or sour cream. Basically, it’s diced meat and vegetables in a broth of buttermilk or whatever combination you choose. There are many recipes online, some with ingredients that I can’t quite imagine. I’ve seen suggestions of sugar, mustard, hot dogs, bologna. More reasonable suggestions, to me, might be ham and green peas.
Most recipes call for diluting the dairy with water. Some says two parts dairy to one part water; others call for equal parts. I followed the recipe, used equal parts water and buttermilk, and thought the broth was too thin. So I recommend 2:1. I chose to stick with buttermilk, just because I really like it. I think yogurt would be good too, but I am not so sure about sour cream. I think you need the tanginess of buttermilk or yogurt.
Here’s the version I made:
2 small Yukon gold potatoes, cooked, cooled, peeled, and diced
4 hard-boiled eggs, diced
6-8 small radishes, sliced (the bigger the radish, the tougher it will be)
2-3 cups diced meat – chicken or ham
1 bunch fresh dill, minced
4 green onions, chopped
2 quarts buttermilk
1 quart water
½ tsp. salt
Dice and chop vegetables and meat and put in a large bowl--really large because this makes a whole lot. In a separate large container, mix dairy, water, lemon juice, and salt. Pour the dairy mixture over the meat and vegetables, and stir to mix.
Chill thoroughly to serve. Add more salt if needed.
This makes a satisfying one-dish meal—for several meals. You could halve it if you want.