I've been writing about pickles so much on this blog I can't believe I haven't posted this yet.
I discovered pickle soup (zupa ogorkowa) at Borscht, Vodka & Tears when Marion and I went there earlier this year. I was smitten - a slightly thickened broth packed with potatoes and grated pickles. Just the right amount of sour mixed with the dill flavour to make a winter favourite.
So I went digging for recipes. There's a lot of variations - some thicken the soup with eggs, or flour. Many have celery, some add leeks which I'm keen to try. The version I've been making has won a lot of converts. Sarah makes it endlessly and Shane just asked me for the recipe. It's a great soup for when you're feeling sick - a kind of vegetarian chicken soup replacement.
A note on ingredients:
- Using instant stock makes this very quick but of course using real stock would make it so much better. The traditional recipes recommend beef.
- You need pickles that are good and sour - not sweet. Bick's Polski Ogorki are good, so are the tinned Israeli ones you can find at some supermarkets. Avoid any Australian ones unless they come from a good Polish deli.
- 6 cups stock (I use Massel's fake Chicken)
- 1 medium carrot, diced very small
- 1 big potato, diced smallish
- 1/2 onion minced
- 6 big pickled cucumbers, grated or finely chopped.
- pickle juice from jar
- 1 cup sour cream and more to serve.
- a little flour
- Heat the stock up and add the potato. Leave it to simmer while you saute the onion slowly in some butter.
- Add the carrots to the onion for a minute, then the pickles.
- When the potatoes are almost tender add the carrots, onion and pickles to the pot. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are nice.
- Mix two teaspoons of flour with the sour cream then slowly stir into the soup to thicken it.
- The sour cream might break up and look a bit mucky but that's ok.
- Taste the soup and add some of the pickle juice to taste - the sour taste should be distinctive but not outta control.
- Serve with masses of chopped dill, rye toast and more sour cream for the dairy pigs.