When I first made ogórki kiszone (cucumber preserved in brine), my friend, Chris who used to write a blog called Kielbasa Stories, suggested that I try making Ogórkowa, a well-known soup in Poland (and Lithuania) made with these natural Polish pickles.
While well knows in Poland, Ogórkowa or Zupa Ogórkowa can be found in Polish markets or delis in other countries, but is not something widely known in the United States. I do suspect that my sister, who had a passion for pickle sandwiches as a child, will love this soup.
The thought of a pickle soup seemed unusual to me, but no more unusual that horseradish soup or mustard soup, both of which are now part of my soup lineup.
I feel like I can make a soup out of anything after living in Poland. With my brother and sister on their way to our home for lunch recently, I pulled a bag of turkey broth and the meat I’d picked off the bone out of the freezer, threw it in a pot with a bay leaf while I sautéed a diced onion with a bunch of carrots, julienned kale and a couple of cloves of garlic. The cooked veggies were added to the broth. It was all served over some leftover angel hair pasta in red sauce that I placed in the bowls. Voila! Delicious soup from what happened to be in the fridge. I must have been out of pickles, LOL!
This is a combination of the two. The American version has you dicing vegetables and them blitzing them, but not until completely smooth. The Polish version, which I’ve gone with in the instructions, has you grating the cooked vegetables.
I have to say, I saw the grater used so often, in so many ways, in Polish kitchens. It was sometimes used in ways that wouldn’t have occurred to me. Need breadcrumbs for a recipe? Just grab last night’s baguette and grate it!
Ogórkowa is complex soup with many layers of flavor. As you can see from the ingredient list, it’s so much more than just pickles.
- Pork or chicken bones
- 1 leek, the white and light green parts, trimmed and rinsed
- 2 carrots, trimmed and peeled
- 1 parsnip, trimmed, and peeled
- 1 stalk celery, trimmed
- 1 onion, trimmed and outer layer removed
- 3 allspice (whole)
- 1 quart (900 ml) sour pickles
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Add the bones, leek, carrots, parsnip, celery, onion and allspice to a large pot
- Add 6 to 8 cups of water, or use broth, (chicken or vegetable) if you don’t have soup bones in hand
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes
- While this is cooking , removed the pickles, reserving their liquid, grate the pickles and simmer in a small amount of water for 20 minutes, drain
- Add the garlic and potatoes to the soup and cook about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender
- Remove the bones, leek, carrots, parsnip, onion, and allspice from the soup
- Grate the carrots, parsnip, and celery, and return to the soup
- Season with marjoram, salt and pepper
- Add the grated pickles and juice to the soup
- Just before serving, stir in the heavy cream and chopped dill
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.