Pickle Soup - Zupa Ogórkowa
1-2 lbs (454-908g) spare animal parts (I used a chicken carcass, some pork ribs would be good)
1-2 stalks celery
1 parsnip (very optional)
1 lb (454g) potato
1-2 lb (454-908g) pickles with their brine (lacto-fermented are better than vinegar pickles for this)
8 oz (240g) sour cream (creme fraiche or yogurt could work too)
1/2 cup (60g) flour
spices (I used juniper berries, bay leaves and marjoram)
fresh herbs for garnish (I used dill)
Cover your meat and bone scraps in water and bring to a boil. Simmer for as long as you've got but at least an hour. (Feel free to skip all that and just buy stock at the store.) When the bones break easily, fish out all the solids, let them cool and then pick off any edible meat to add back into the soup later.
While you're waiting, get the carrots, celery, parsnip and onion into small pieces however you want — grating them is good, easy and traditional. Put them in your stock and get them boiling. Add more water if you need it, but try to keep water to a minimum to preserve your options for later.
Anywhere in here would be a good time to add your spices, but hold off on the salt because the pickles are super salty.
Chop the potatoes into bite-size pieces and add them to the soup after the other vegetables have had a little head start.
Take the pickles out of their brine, and set one or two aside for garnish. (If there's any garlic cloves or other goodies in with the pickles, consider chopping them up and putting them in the soup.) Grate the pickles or chop them finely. When the potatoes seem at least halfway cooked, put in the pickle shreds. Cut the reserved pickles for garnish however you want — I did cubes.
While you're waiting, mix the sour cream and flour together until smooth. This is your thickener. (You can mix in a little water or brine to loosen it up if it's too stiff to stir.)
When the potatoes are about done, it's time to finish the soup. Stir in as much pickle brine and as much of the thickener as you want, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary. Make sure to bring the soup back up to a boil to cook the flour in the thickener, and add any additional water to get the texture you want. (I used about a cup of my brine and all of my thickener.) Don't forget to add any meat you picked off the bones.
Serve and garnish the bowls with fresh herbs and raw pickles.