11 Eastern European Soups to Keep You Warm All Winter

Borscht, pelmeni, and beyond

From borscht and dumpling soups to stews and hearty grilled meats, these recipes will keep your hearts warm and fuzzy.

Okroshka (Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Herbs)

Okroshka (Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Herbs) Recipe
This take on okroshka, a classic summer soup named after the Russian word kroshit, meaning "to crumble" uses tangy kefir or buttermilk as a base and is filled with heaps of torn fresh herbs. Grated horseradish and spicy mustard add a gentle backnote to the soup. If you can't find quail eggs or don't have the patience to peel them, hard-boil chicken eggs and cut them into quarters. Get the recipe for Okroshka (Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Herbs) »Simon Bajada

Russian Sweet and Sour Beef Soup (Solyanka)

Russian Sweet and Sour Beef Soup (Solyanka)
A mix of fresh and cured beef and pork gives this classic sweet and sour soup heft. This recipe first appeared in our March 2013 issue, along with Leah Koenig's article Purifying Pleasures. Get the recipe for Russian Sweet and Sour Beef Soup (Solyanka) »James Oseland

A Colorful Bright Pink Soup

Eaten hot or cold, vegetarian or with shreds of beef, enriched with a dollop of sour cream and wisps of dill, this beet-based soup is the quintessence of good Eastern European cooking. Get the recipe for Classic Borscht»Todd Coleman

Hungarian Goulash

The recipe for this hearty, savory soup comes from Katalin Bánfalvi, author Carolyn Banfalvi's mother-in-law, who lives in the village of Bõny, in northwestern Hungary. Hungarian sweet paprika confers a singularly deep, rich color and flavor. Get the recipe for Hungarian Goulash »Matt Taylor-Gross

Add Some Chicken and Vegetables...

There are as many versions of the Russian beet soup borscht as there are cooks. In Galina Belogubova's vibrant version, shredded beets and carrots are cooked with grape tomatoes and chicken for a satisfying main-course soup. Get the recipe for Chicken-and-Vegetable Borscht »James Oseland

Or Salmon for Your Omega-3s

salmon soup
Salmon has been a pillar of Russian cuisine for centuries. In lean times, all parts of the fish went into the soup, say Glenn R. Mack and Asele Surina in their book Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia. But in "more prosperous times [they] were strained out to make a clear broth". Get the recipe for Ukha Soup»André Baranowski

Pelmeni Dumplings in Chicken Broth

Pelmeni Dumplings in Chicken Broth
These traditional Siberian half-moon dumplings, called pelmeni, are packed with garlic and ground pork and were the favorite food of Olia Hercules' Russian grandmother. Here they are the stars of this soup, served in a simple chicken broth flavored with carrots and whole black peppercorns. Shred and stir the cooked chicken into the soup, if you like, or save it for another use and enjoy the pelmeni and broth on their own. Get the recipe for Pelmeni Dumplings in Chicken Broth»Justin Walker

Throw in Some Noodles And Turn Them Into Ramen

Russo Chicken Ramen
At Bear, a homey Eastern European restaurant in Astoria, Queens, chef Natasha Pogrebinsky serves a pelmeni stew she calls "Siberian Express," adding marinated mushrooms, brined cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, scallions, and a soft-boiled egg all to color up the dish's otherwise beige landscape. But her customers call it something else: Russian Ramen. This chicken-and-dumpling soup also takes advantage of two ingredients more common in Asia than Eastern Europe—sesame oil and cilantro—for a simple but rewarding soup that probes the boundaries of what we think of as Russian cuisine. Get the recipe for Russian Chicken and Dumplings Soup »Matt Taylor-Gross

Duck Borscht with Fermented Tomato Sauce

Duck Borscht with Fermented Tomato Sauce
This soup combines a whole duck, beet greens, and cabbage in a fizzy fermented tomato sauce—a wonderful alternative when fresh tomatoes aren't in season. Get the recipe for Duck Borscht with Fermented Tomato Sauce »Justin Walker

Beef Stroganoff

beef stroganoff
This dish of sliced beef in a sour cream sauce garnished with straw potatoes was named for the Stroganov family of Russian merchants. The inventor was plainly familiar with French cuisine (browning meat to make a pan sauce was not a Russian technique)—no surprise in a country whose wealthiest sent their chefs to train in France. The sour cream, however, is distinctly Russian. Get the recipe for Beef Stroganoff»Todd Coleman

Khashlama (Veal and Sour Plum Stew)

Veal and Sour Plum Stew
Though versions of this robust meat stew are eaten throughout Georgia, the salt-cured plums, hot chiles, and fragrant fresh herbs are typical of the bold, contrasting flavors of the Kakheti region. Get the recipe for Khashlama (Veal and Sour Plum Stew»Landon Nordeman