Pickle Soup (Ogórkowa Zupa)
45 minutestotal time
6 to 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
7 sour dill pickles (8 to 9 ounces) with 1 1/2 cups brine from the jar (see Tip)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 dried bay leaves
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup sour cream, for serving (optional)
Chopped fresh dill, for serving (optional)
In a large pot, combine 6 cups stock with the carrots, potatoes, celery root and parsnip. The vegetables should be covered with stock, so add more as needed. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Rapidly simmer until all of the vegetables are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
While the vegetables are cooking, coarsely grate the pickles. You should have about 1 cup densely packed grated pickles. Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat until it starts to brown. Stir in the garlic and bay leaves, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the grated pickles and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring once, until the pickles become softer, 8 to 12 minutes.
Add the pickle mixture to the pot with the vegetables, along with 1 cup pickle brine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper. The soup should already be salty from the broth, pickles and their brine, so add salt carefully. Add up to 1/2 cup more brine if you want a more sour taste. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
If using sour cream, temper the cream so it doesn’t curdle: In a cup, mix the sour cream with 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water, stirring well after each addition, then repeat with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the soup. Add the tempered cream to the pot. Bring to a simmer and heat through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Top with chopped dill and black pepper.
45 minutestotal time