Botvinia is a cold soup. It was very popular in Russian cuisine in olden times, both with the nobility and the peasants. This soup is made with sour kvass, to which preliminarily boiled and strained leafy greens: sorrel, beet tops, spinach, green onion and nettle are added. Traditionally, boiled red fish of sturgeon species, as well as crushed ice are also added to botvinia. However, adding fish to cold botvinia is optional. Botvinia is a perfect dish in hot summer.


  • White kvass or sour shchi – 1,5 l
  • sorrel, spinach, beet tops, goutweed and nettle – 400-500 g
  • boiled or soft-salted trout, salmon, sturgeon, whitefish – 500-600 g
  • small cucumbers – 2-3 pcs.
  • green onion – 1 small bundle
  • dill – 1 small bundle
  • salt – to taste

Preparation method (receipt)

Thoroughly wash the leafy greens (sorrel, spinach, beet tops, goutweed and nettle) and put into a saucepan, adding cold water flush with the leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, slightly pressing the greens from time to time. Place the boiled leaves on a sieve, rub through and cool. Peel cucumbers and finely chop together with onions and dill. Salt a bit and rub with a wooden masher. Dilute the strained beet tops with cold kvass or sour shchi and add the mashed cucumbers and greens. Put an ice in botvinia and serve with fish, cut into thin slices and laid on a plate. Do not forget to put a saucer with ice on the table for those wishing could optionally add some.

white kvass or sour shchi sorrel spinach goutweed nettle beet tops trout salmon sturgeon whitefish cucumbers green onion dill

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