A pickle soup?! This recipe is for Russians or and traditionally pregnant ladies. However, if you’ve never heard of such a bizarre concept as a pickle soup. If you’re Russian, you probably grew up eating this soup, and don’t see anything unusual about it but if you’re not accustomed to it give it a try. Rassolnik is very comforting as it has potatoes and creamy barley in it, but it also doesn’t taste heavy at all, the pickles give it a really unusual twist.


  • 8-10 cups chicken stock (you can also use beef, pork or vegetable broth)
  • ½ cup cooked meat, chicken, beef, pork (optional, save from Sunday roast)
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup pearled barley
  • ½ Tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup finely chopped pickles ( gherkins or cornichons )
  • salt, pepper
serves 6-8


  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes and barley to the soup. Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep the soup covered as it cooks.
  3. Meanwhile, heat ½ Tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Add the onion and carrot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are softened. Add to the soup.
  4. Shred the pickles on a box grater and add to the soup. You can also add a bit of the pickling brine to the soup. It gives the soup a nice zip.
  5. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes and barley are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Garnish the soup with some finely minced herbs, parsley, dill, spring onions, etc. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.