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Onion Vzvar: Forgotten dish of the Russian cuisine (RECIPE)

29 May 2022

What does the old Russian equivalent of French onion soup taste like?

Chef Viktor Beley from the restaurant 'Uhvat' in Moscow shared with us a recipe for onion soup based on a sauce that could have been eaten even by tsar Ivan the Terrible.

Onion vzvar (broth) is an old Russian sauce, which was served on the tsar's table with swan, turkey, goose and, occasionally, with lamb. At that time, decoctions with the addition of herbs, berries, roots and other fruits were called 'vzvar'. For example, there were cranberry, apple, cabbage or onion types of vzvar.

Onion vzvar was prepared from caramelized onions with honey and various spices. Vinegar or sour cream were added for sourness, but this time we will do it with white wine. Chef Viktor Beley also adds beef broth to the sauce and gets a real onion soup as good as the French one.

Chef Viktor Beley.

Chef Viktor Beley.

Restaurant Uhvat

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • Beef broth - 1 l
  • Onions - 1 kg
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Olive oil - 50 ml
  • Butter - 50 g
  • Thyme - 10-15 g
  • White dry wine - 250 ml


Restaurant Uhvat

  • Cut the onion into strips, fry on medium heat in butter and olive oil with garlic and thyme until golden.
  • Add the white wine, boil it off, add the beef broth and cook until the broth is cooked through, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Before serving, sprinkle the broth with grated cheese, such as Parmesan.
  • This onion vzvar can be served with a slice of wheat bread with a firm texture, pre-fried to a crispy crust. You can sprinkle grated cheese on top.
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