> Lemon and Strawberries: Polish sour cucumber soup (Zupa ogórkowa)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Polish sour cucumber soup (Zupa ogórkowa)

This is one of my favourite Polish soups and I missed it greatly for a very long time. Don't get me wrong, I love Greek cuisine with all my heart - it's amazing, but - sometimes, just sometimes I get these cravings for something I grew up with.
And this time I really wanted sour cucumber soup (zupa ogórkowa)! I mean it - I was ready to make preservs myself, just to have the necessary ingredient - sour cucumbers (ogórki kiszone). But there was a problem - I couldn't find small cucumbers suitable for making this type of pickles. Not to mention branches of dill (top parts, with seeds). I was getting really desperated, but then I thought I will ask around and maybe someone knows "something". As it turned out - there is a Polish shop here in Thessaloniki! Yay! So one day I went there hoping to find my precious sour cucumbers and imagine what a wonderful moment it was when I saw them on a shelf! My precious!

So here's the recipe for a delicious, Polish sour cucumber soup - perfect for cold days - it will warm you up and fill your belly with goodness!

INGREDIENTS (4-6 servings):
  • 400g pork ribs
  • piece of celery root (or a bunch of celery leaves)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 parsley root (optional)
  • 1/2 leek
  • 6-7 sour cucumbers
  • handful fresh, chopped dill
  • 2-3 tbs 18% cream
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cook a broth from ribs, celery, parsley and leek with bay leaves, salt & pepper. It's best to tie vegetables together with white thread - it makes it easier to remove them later. Let it cook on small to medium heat for about an hour. Once in a while check your broth and using a spoon remove foam that will be forming on the surface. 

Remove ribs, and vegetables and then add sliced carrots and potatoes cut into little cubes. Add extra salt & pepper if needed and cook for 15-20 minutes - or until potatoes are half-cooked. Separate meat from ribs and add it into soup.
Grate sour cucumbers on a large mesh grater and add them into a pot too. Cook for another 10-15 minutes. Taste your soup and if it's not as sour as you'd like, you can add some of the liquid from a jar you got your cucumbers in. 

When potatoes and carrots are fully cooked, it's time to add cream. Mix it in a small bowl with some of the soup before adding it to the pot - it will prevent cream from curdling. Add cream to the soup, give it a good stir and take off the heat.

Sour cucumber soup tastes best served hot, sprinkled with freshly chopped dill and bread on the side, but it's as good or even better re-heated next day!

Bon appetite!


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