Okroshka is a cold summer soup of Russian origin. During hot summer days this soup is the best way to keep cool. Main ingredient for okroshka is kvass, a fermented drink, made off rye, buckwheat, and whole wheat bread, barley malt, yeast, and a little sugar. When kvass is ready, it's time to make okroshka: chop all vegetables (and optional, meat) and serve.
I've never had okroshka before I met my husband, Mr. IV, who is an expert in okroshka. When we lived in Seattle, kvass was available for purchase at many European Deli and health food markets. Here I had to learn a thousand years old skill (yes, that's how many years kvass has been around, quite a drink, ha?!) and make it myself.
|Work in progress|
So, I make kvass, and Mr.IV and teenager cut all the ingredients: cooked potatoes, hard boiled eggs, radishes, green onions, dill, cucumbers.
Diced vegetables can be refrigerated for up to two day (if it can stay that long!) Cold kvass is added in the individual bowls just before eating with a little sour cream, and seasoned with salt and pepper.
|Man at work... :)|
You must wander what okroshka was made off six centuries before potatoes were domesticated in Europe? Most commonly available vegetable in "before potato" era was turnip.
|Great job dicing!|
Kvass is not only an ingredient for okroshka but also is a drink, consumed during a hot summer days more than water.
To make kvass, I start with baking the bread (any store bought dark rye bread can be used).
Then I slice it and toast until it has amber brown color. Next, to 8 liters of water (2 gallons) I add 6-7 slices of toasted bread, 2 cups of sugar, 20 grams dried yeast, and 1/4 cup barley malt.
Mix it well, cover and let to ferment from 12 to 24 hours.
Strain kvass into a glass bottles or pitchers and keep refrigerated.
Enjoy as a drink, and make some okroshka, it will keep you cool!