Rassolnik - Russian Pickle Soup #ImprovCookingChallenge

Rassolnik is a Russian soup with all the usual ingredients, beef, barley, and vegetables but also one major plot twist that makes this soup delicious. I love the eastern European tradition of adding pickles to soups. I first tried it zupa orgorkowa, the Polish version. But this is totally different, and I'm happy to report it works just as well in a broth based soup as it does in a creamy soup. It also happens to be perfect for this months Improv Cooking Challenge who's theme happens to be Butter and Pickles. 
2 lb. stew beef
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. barley
8 c. beef broth
2 Tbsp. butter
1 medium potato
2 carrots, grated
1 (16 oz.) jar dill pickles, grated or chopped fine
1 onion, chopped
1 stalks celery, sliced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. peppercorns

Sour cream, chopped fresh dill

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add half the beef and sear on two sides. Remove from the pan and sear the remaining beef chunks. Add the barley, beef broth, peppercorns, and bay leaf. 

Simmer over medium heat until the beef and barley are both tender, about 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile heat the butter in a medium pan. Add the pickles and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and keep sauteeing. 

Add the pan of vegetables and pickles to the pot of beef and barley. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes to combine flavors. 

Serve with sour cream, fresh chopped dill, and crusty bread. 

Improv Cooking Challenge

Butter and Pickles 

The #ImprovCookingChallenge is a monthly blogging event where two ingredients are assigned to a month. Bloggers can make any recipe they like as long as it features the two ingredients. If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please visit our Facebook page. You can also read more about the event on our home page.  If you’d like to see previous creations, check out our Pinterest board


  1. I made a pickle soup too, but the zupa orgorkowa version. Your's looks hearty and filling, and very tasty.

  2. Love this pickle soup, looks delicious!

  3. Um yes...I want a big ol' bowl of this deliciousness!!!


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