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Shared by Sasha Shor

Okroshka (Chilled Kefir Soup)

Yield: 4-6 servingsTime: 30 min + 6 H inactive

Okroshka (Chilled Kefir Soup)

Yield: 4-6 servingsTime: 30 min + 6 H inactive

Family Journey

Kishinev, MoldovaNashville
New York City

Chef’s Note: Traditionally made with fermented Rye Kvass and sour cream, Okroshka is a classic, chilled, Russian summer soup popular at picnics and dachas all over Russia. My fresh, new take on Okroshka is made with kefir and pickle brine and finished with freshly chopped summer vegetables and lots of fresh dill. Enjoy your chilled Okroshka like my grandfather Isay did, alongside a hearty slice of aromatic black bread, crusts rubbed with a freshly halved clove of spicy garlic and an icy shot of vodka.

This recipe was shared by Sasha Shor. Read more about her family in "The Russian Picnic Tradition a Family Smuggled Out of the USSR" and try her recipes for salat iz riddiski (radish salad), shashlik (Georgian style grilled lamb shish kebabs), and kislyi arbuz (fermented pickled watermelon).


For the soup

  • 4 cups plain kefir or buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups sour pickle brine (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Black pepper to taste

For the garnish

  • ¾ cup chilled seltzer or sparkling water
  • Use any combination (or all) of the below to your okroshka just before serving:
  • Diced fresh cucumber, thinly sliced radishes, cooked, chilled, diced potato, Halved hard-boiled egg Fresh dill, cilantro or chives
  • Unrefined aromatic Sunflower oil (optional)
EasyOvernight Soups & StewsVegetarianEastern Europe


  • Step 1

    Whisk all of the soup ingredients together in a large bowl or pitcher.

  • Step 2

    Seal well, and chill for 6 hours, preferably overnight.

  • Step 3

    Once chilled, add ¾ cup cold seltzer or sparkling water, and serve in bowls garnished with freshly cut vegetables, potato, egg, and a drizzle of aromatic sunflower oil.

  • Step 4

    Note: Depending on the saltiness of your pickle brine, you can add more salt to taste after the soup has chilled.