Soljanka, or solyanka, is a spicy soup popular in Russia, the former Soviet states, and Eastern Europe. This hot and sour dish comes in several different varieties. You can find recipes for varieties with meat, seafood, sausage as well as meatless options. All varieties contain a similar broth that features pickled cucumbers (with a splash of the pickle juice) and tomatoes. Toppings include lemon zest or lemon juice, sour cream, olives and dill. Most varieties have cabbage, carrots and other vegetables as well.
The soup is popular throughout the former Eastern Bloc, and supermarkets in Germany sell canned varieties. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, has admitted a fondness for the dish. Some recipes suggest that the most authentic soljanka experience is only possible if the soup is accompanied by a glass of vodka.