I first discovered this meaty spicy and sour soup in Berlin when I lived there in 1996. Although it originates in Russian and Ukrainian cuisine, it became popular in the former East Germany when Soviet troops were stationed there. It I saw a can of it in a supermarket and, having never heard of it before, decided to give it a try. It was delicious, and just the thing for a cold Berlin evening.
It’s January now, and the nights are drawing in. I’m also looking to stock up the freezer with lots of pre-made meals, and so I decided to try to recreate the soup at home. The job was a little harder than it might have been as some of the recipes I looked into needed several different types of German sausages, so I had to improvise with what I could find in the supermarket.
I’m pleased to report that it worked out beautifully, and Rebecca and I feasted on some delicious Soljanka over the weekend, topped with sour cream and dill.
- 500g pork shoulder, cut into chunks
- 400g salami slices, cut into strips
- 400g chicken sausage (something like this), chopped
- 1 medium sized jar dill pickled gherkins (something like this)
- 1/2 medium sized jar pickled peppers (something like this)
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 3 large red peppers, cubed.
- 2 large green peppers, cubed.
- 1 scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped.
- 3 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tube of tomato puree
- half a bulb of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 3 bay leaves
- dash of worcester sauce
- Sour cream
- Fresh dill
- In a large pot, fry the onions, garlic and chilli until softened.
- Add the pork, salami and chicken sausage and fry until browned
- Chop the gherkins finely and add them into the pot. Retain the gherkin juice in the jar for later
- Chop the peppers finely and add them to the pot. Fry the lot together for a bit
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir
- Add the pickle juice from the gherkin jar, along with the bay leaves, and simmer for a little while
- Add the stock cubes and up to a pint of boiling water until you have a chunky soup consistency
- Add the tomato paste and stir well
- Cover and simmer on a low heat for about 30 mins
- Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream and chopped dill to garnish