Kalja is a Russian soup of Finnish origin. It is made from fish (often with the addition of caviar) or meat with a cucumber or cabbage brine, and also with a mixture of brine and kvass. Its name has been known since the late XVIII century, while the recipe apparently existed in Russia as far back as in the XVI century. Although kalja is much less popular today than rassolnik (pickle soup), it is sometimes cooked by chefs of some restaurants.


  • Fish (pike perch and salmon) ends of cuts (heads, tails, chine bones) - 1,5кг
  • pike perch and salmon fillet - 350–400 g each
  • pickles - 4 pcs.
  • cucumber brine – to taste
  • onion - 2 big bulbs
  • lemon - 1 piece
  • black and green olives - 150 g each
  • tomato paste - 3 tbsp.
  • sugar - 1 tsp.
  • vegetable oil – for frying
  • bay leaf - 1 piece
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • capers and chopped dill – for serving

Preparation method (receipt)

Rinse the fish ends of cuts, put in a large saucepan, pour in 2.5 liters of water and bring to the boil under a high heat. Slack the fire, salt a bit and cook for 1 hour. Strain the broth. Peel the pickled cucumbers and cut them into small slices. Pour a little water into the pan, bring to the mild boil, put cucumbers and parboil for 7-10 minutes. Place in a colander. Peel the lemon so that the pulp is visible, and cut along the wedges between the films. Cut fish fillet into large cubes, cover with small amount of broth, bring to a boil and parboil for 3-4 minutes. Peel onion and chop it very finely. Heat oil in a large saucepan with a thick bottom, put onion and fry for 5-7 minutes. Add sugar and tomato paste, and fry for 3 minutes. Pour in broth, add pickles and cucumber brine to taste, green and black olives and bay leaf. Pepper, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Put the fish, capers, dill and slices of lemon pulp on plates. Ladle out kalja in plates and serve at once.

fish pike perch salmon pickles cucumber brine onion bulbs lemon black and green olives tomato paste sugar vegetable oil bay leaf black pepper capers dill