Solyanka – Ukrainian sweet and sour soup

St Michael’s Cathedral- Kiev

Kiev is my favourite city in the world. And Solyanka is probably my favourite Ukrainian soup. It is a hearty sweet and sour soup.


Cubed beef – 500 grams

3 chopped smoked sausages (we used German frankfurters as oddly the Cowes Co-op does not sell Ukrainian smoked sausage. Who knew?)

1 large onion, diced

2 sticks celery – diced

1 large carrot- diced

1/4 small green cabbage- finely sliced

3 medium sized- pickled cucumber diced

1 tablespoon capers in brine

2 tablespoon chopped olives (I used black as that is what we had)

150 ml dry white wine

1 litre beef stock

500 grams tomato passata

1 dollop sour cream per person

Sautee onions, celery, beef in olive oil until beef is browned. Add carrots. Stir for a few minutes. Add all the other ingredients. Cook on low for an hour or so, or until beef is tender. Top with sour cream and dill or parsley.

Perfect with dark heavy rye bread. In Ukraine they would spread the bread with salo which is rendered pork fat. However my quest for authenticity has limits.

5 thoughts on “Solyanka – Ukrainian sweet and sour soup

  1. There’s a new eastern European deli and grocer opened in Ryde upper High Street, and there’s another in Monkton Street. Both sell all sorts of sausages that we have never dared try. Perhaps they could assist?


    • No way??!! Really? I admit, I am terribly Cowes-centric (It is a disease) – I shall most certainly try there. Maybe they will have my other Ukrainian favourites – real mashed potato piroshkii and minced meat deruny.

      I see where I shall be heading next weekend!

      Thank you!


  2. Please, you should know that salo is not “rendered” in such a fashion as the product known as “lard”. Typically, it is smoked to some degree and quite often infused with herbs and garlic. The less smoked it is, the more liquid-like its room temperature viscosity will be.

    While the idea of eating “pig fat” might seem unhealthy, the cholesterol content is said to be significantly lower than an equal amount of butter. Apparently, it has emulsification potential such that Ukrainians claim it prevents artherosclerosis. But of course, like any food, too much of anything good can be problematic.

    Salo is especially nice spread on black bread with shot of horilka (vodka), and perhaps some pickled herring as well. Smachnoho! (Bon Appetit!)


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