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Rassolnik - soup with pickles and barley

My version of rich and delicious Rassolnik - traditional Russian soup with pickled cucumbers and barley. An unusual taste will pleasantly surprise your taste buds.
Course Soup
Cuisine Eastern European
Servings 8 portions as main course
Author Katia White

Ingredients

For the stock

  • 2 chicken thighs boneless and skinless, whole
  • 1 yellow onion medium, halved
  • 1 carrot medium, halved
  • 6 Black peppercorns whole
  • 2 allspice whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt

For the soup

  • 1/4 cup barley raw, rinsed
  • 2 potatoes (I prefer Yukon gold) medium, thick julienne
  • 1 yellow onion medium, diced
  • 1 carrot medium, grated
  • 5-7 pickels medium, diced or thin julienne
  • Brine
  • Parsley fresh, italian
  • Dill fresh
  • Sour cream for the serving

Instructions

For the stock

  • Put chicken thighs in a pot and cover with water (I use about 4 quarts/liters). Bring to a boil, skim off the foam forming on a surface. Add salt, halved onion and carrot. Put your aromatics (except bay leaf) into a  seasoning mesh and submerged into future stock. Set the heat on low and let the stock simmer for about an hour.
  • Add bay leaf and simmer 10 minutes more. Remove aromatics, veggies, and meat from the stock. Discard everything except the poultry. Pull the meat on desired chunks. I do it with two forks. 

For the soup

  • Add barley into the stock and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Add potatoes. 
  • In a separate skillet heat about a tablespoon of avocado oil (or other cooking oil you want to use) and sautee diced onion and grated carrot until soft and slightly caramelized. Add pickles, a bit of stock and let it simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • When potatoes are done add skillet mixture into the pot, add the brine. Taste your soup and add more brine if you wish, season if you need. Don't add too much brine, the taste would be subtle but will mature with time. Add chicken chunks, bring to a boil. Add chopped herbs, cover the lid and take the soup off the heat. 
  • I recommend to cool to room temperature and let mature for a night in a fridge. But you can serve it right away with a dollop of sour cream and some additional herbs if you like.