This is how you cook a real school kitchen solyanka like in the GDR – easy, fast and tasty

Garnished with sour cream, parsley and lemon: a classic GDR solyanka.
Garnished with sour cream, parsley and lemon: a classic GDR solyanka. imago/Panthermedia/Wischnewski

For days there have been problems with NVA soup and pioneering solyanka: these canned goods with GDR symbols are sold in Berlin’s Rewe supermarkets. Successful. But the Federal Foundation for the Reevaluation of the SED Dictatorship has launched a campaign against it. She sees this as a banalism of the GDR regime. On the shelves of supermarkets there are canned goods with “NVA Field Soup” or “Soljanka School Kitchen” with children in pioneer uniforms. The taste of the East is coming back. One more time. Here we explain how to prepare this solyanka yourself.

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I still remember school lunches. It’s not always good memories. Second POS in Berlin-Köpenick, DSF school, lunch break was at 12 noon, everyone went to eat. If I remember correctly, lunch was 55 cents a day. It is paid in advance, always at the beginning of the month.

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For example,
For example, “solyanka school soup” is available in the supermarket. Original school kitchen

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Green bean stew and Jägerschnitzel with noodles and tomato sauce were popular with us. People often got help there. I hated Szeged goulash (both with too much fatty meat and sauerkraut) and caper dumplings with a thick, tasteless flour sauce.

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Whatever went and goes: Soljanka. Not too thick, a little sour. Sausage, meat, onion, cucumber and peppers are cooked together for “school kitchen soup”, which can be bought at the supermarket.

What should never be missing from a good solyanka: yogurt, lemon water and cucumber for a slightly sour taste. Important: In many new recipes that are still sold online as GDR solyanka, sour cream is replaced with crème fraîche or sour cream. You can do it, but then it has nothing to do with real solyanka.

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Soljanka is known as a good dish to use leftovers (meat). So you can change when you choose the meat. Take what’s there. Kasseler, meat or game sausage, boiled ham, sausage or bockwurst are good, even sausage.

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Ingredients: What belongs to a GDR solyanka

2 liters of broth, 500 grams of meat (leftover, Bockwurst, Jagdwurst), 200 grams of onion, 100 grams of bacon, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 glass of Letscho, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika powder, 4 pickles incl. pickled water, half a lemon, 4 spoons of sour cream, dill, parsley, salt, pepper, sugar

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Preparation: A GDR solyanka in 4 steps

1. Cut the meat and cucumbers into thin strips, cut the lettuce into small pieces.

2. Finely chop the onions and fry them together with the bacon cubes in the soup pot until they are translucent.

3. Add the finely chopped garlic, tomato paste, paprika, meat and cucumber strips and fry for three to four minutes. We stir them well.

4. Pour the meat juice, cucumber water and cloth, season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Then bring everything to a boil, let it simmer for 15 minutes and then let it sit on the stove off for another ten minutes.

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5. Pour the soup into plates, garnish with fennel and parsley and add a lemon slice and a spoonful of sour cream to each plate. Tip: prepare the solyanka the day before. The soup tastes even better warmed and well soaked.

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