Not a single person that grew up in Poland went through childhood without eating pickle soup at least once. I might be exaggerating of course but the dill pickle soup is one of the ultimate Polish soups.
It is perfect on a Saturday or any day after a night out. Pickle juice that you get as a byproduct will reanimate you like nobody’s business. Even if you are not a party animal you can still enjoy this soup – I love it since my childhood and even though I am from Poland I did not start drinking THAT early. It is a soup that brings summer back – like a tomato soup does. It transfers you directly to a garden full of those plump, short cucumbers that I loved to eat just like that, peeled, sliced lengthwise and with a generous layer of salt
Even if the thought of pickles in a soup seems weird or unusual, bear with me, give this one a chance and it might change your mind. It is in fact, simple yet complex soup – just look at the ingredients list. Apple will offer some sweetness, horseradish will provide another layer of bite. Then there is an assortment of herbs that will make your whole kitchen smell fantastic.
It is sour, it is savoury, it ultimately has a very round flavour. The usual tang of the pickles is contained by cooking them. It is also a very quick and easy to make. Once you have all your ingredients it shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes to have the soup waiting on the table.
• When opening the bag with pickles, do not pour away the juice, it might be necessary later.
• make absolutely sure you have pickles made in brine, not in vinegar. These are two completely different products and vinegar based ARE NOT to be used here.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 3 potatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- a quarter of a tart apple
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 kernels of allspice
- 1 tbsp of grated horseradish
- ½ tsp thyme
- 1 tsp lovage
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 500g pickles (if you go to a Polish store look for KISZONE)
- 1-1,5 litres of vegetable broth
- Peel and dice the potatoes (about 1cm edge), peel and dice the onion (small dice), chop the garlic and grate the apple.
- Heat the oil to medium heat, add onion and apple. After a minute add 2 bay leaves and 2 kernels of allspice, fry on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, horseradish, thyme, marjoram and lovage. Mix well so the herbs are spread evenly, add potatoes. Stir well. Pour in about a litre of vegetable broth - it should just about cover the potatoes. Leave on simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- In the meantime , grate the pickles on big holes.
- Add pickles to the pot, add another half a litre of broth if the whole soup looks too thick. Leave on simmer for couple of minutes and taste. It might be necessary to add pickle juice if the soup is not sour enough. It is hard to say from beginning on as it will always depend on the pickles.
- Get two-three ladles of soup out in a tall bowl and blend them with immersion blender or in your kitchen mixer. It will thicken the soup and give it really nice consistency. This step is absolutely not mandatory though.
- Add salt and pepper according to your preference. Serve!
Some will use sour cream before serving. It is quite customary in Poland, but I was never a fan. If you want to give it a try put a bit of sour cream on your spoon and slowly circle it through the soup so it dissolves nicely.