There has been a Krupnik recipe on my website for years. It’s a very popular honey and spice liqueur. This Krupnik is a lovely soup with barley and veggies.
Like most soups, you’ll find variations in recipes, but the constants will be barley and veggies. You will find at least one member of the allium family if not more, onion, leeks, garlic. There will definitely be carrots, potato, and parsnip or parsley root. There might dried mushrooms.
The Krupnik stock might be beef, pork, chicken or vegetable-based. I’ve used a couple of chicken thighs to make chicken stock for the soup. You can shred the meat from any of the bones that you’re using and add it to the soup, but you won’t see any chicken meat in my photos. I needed tempting treats for a dog training session, so the chicken thigh meat went to the dogs rather than the soup pot. The Spruce Eats uses the whey from making twaróg as the soup liquid.
The barley is most often barley groats. Barley groats or hulled barley are grains of barley with the bran still intact- only the inedible outer coating has been removed.
You’re probably familiar with pearl barley which is readily available – barley with the bran removed. That’s what I used in this recipe.
Differences between barley groats and pearl barley
- Barley groats take longer to cook and will have a chewier texture.
- If you don’t eat all of the soup in one sitting, barley groats will absorb less liquid than pearl barley which is a rather sponge-like grain. Personally, I don’t mind that. I like a thick soup. (Because this makes a big pot, I froze several servings to share with family and friends, to keep the barley swelling in check.)
- If you want your barley to stay more al dente, your soup to stay soupy, and to use the most traditional ingredients it’s worth looking for hulled barley rather than pearl barley.
This recipe is adapted from the version on kuchina-domowa.pl. Like all soup recipes, you should adapt it to your taste. If you absolutely love mushrooms, add more. If you don’t like them, just leave them out. I hope you’ll try this tasty, old-school Polish Krupnik recipe. It’s a keeper!
PS – here’s another soup idea to use up your package of barley!
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A delicious, traditional Polish soup featuring barley and vegetables!
- 3 chicken thighs
- 18 cups water (4 liters)
- 4 small dried mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 small parsnip, diced
- 2 ribs celery or 3/4 cup celery root, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 whole allspice berries
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large Russet potato (about 3 1/2 cups), diced
- 1/2 – 1 cup barley
- fresh parsley and dill, snipped
- salt & ground pepper
- Add the chicken thighs and water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3o minutes while preparing the mushrooms and dicing the vegetables. Skim off any foam.
- Add the dried mushrooms to a small bowl or glass, add enough boiling water to cover. You might need to place another bowl or glass on top of the mushrooms to keep them immersed in the water.
- After 30 minutes, remove the mushrooms from the water; dice and add to the soup. Decant the mushroom water, adding it to the soup, but leave any sediment that has collected at the bottom in the bowl or glass. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, parsnip, celery, bay leaves, allspice, peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer for an hour.
- Add the potato and barley. Simmer until they are tender, 20 – 30 minutes. Carefully, remove the chicken thighs, shred the meat and return to the soup (or use as dog treats). Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with snipped parsley and dill.
- For other broth options, use pork ribs or neck bones in place of chicken thighs or beef soup bones. For a vegetarian option, use vegetable broth.
- Optional – add a tablespoon of Vegeta or 1 teaspoon of herbal pepper.
- If you don’t have fresh herbs, add dried with the potatoes and barley.
Keywords: Krupnik, Polish barley soup
An accountant by trade and a food blogger since 2009, Lois Britton fell in love with Polish cuisine during the years she lived in Poznań, Poland. As the creator of PolishHousewife.com, she loves connecting readers with traditional Polish recipes. Lois has a graduate certificate in Food Writing and Photography from the University of South Florida. She is the author of The Polish Housewife Cookbook, available on Amazon and on her website.