Russian Soup with Pickles

This soup won third prize in the Homemade Soups Contest in The 1993 Old Farmer’s Almanac. Congratulations to winner Melanija Wozniak from Vernon, Connecticut.

Check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac Recipe Contests to enter a contest or for more winning recipes. For more great soup recipes like this, look at our list of hearty soups and stews.


2 tablespoons medium barley
3 cups water
4 cups (three 10 1/2-ounce cans) consommé
2 cups (one 13 3/4-ounce can) chicken broth
2 cups diced potatoes
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 large onion, minced
1 veal kidney (or 5 lamb kidneys), trimmed and sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 small dill pickles, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons minced parsley
pepper to taste


Cook barley in the water for about 1 hour, drain, and reserve. In a large kettle combine consommé and chicken broth. Add potatoes and cook until half-tender. In a separate pan, heat butter and cook onion until soft but not browned. Add kidneys and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add pickles, barley, onion, and kidneys to soup mixture, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Skim fat if needed. Pour sour cream into a large soup tureen, add a few teaspoons of soup, and beat vigorously to prevent curdling. Pour remaining soup over mixture. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper. 

Cooking & Recipes


Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Preparation Method


Melanjia Wozniak, Vernon, Connecticut

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