Vegetable Soup

Zupa jarzynowa is vegetable soup (jarzyny are vegetables).

In the past the ingredients for this soup would have changed with the seasons although bottled or tinned vegetable could have been used.  Nowadays with frozen vegetables the ingredients can be very similar all the year round however I still find this soup will be slightly different whenever I make it.

Root vegetable are most prominent and I never use tomatoes or cabbage in this soup. Unlike Minestrone, which is known as Italian Vegetable soup in Poland – this always should have tomatoes and Savoy cabbage in it!

You will need around 600g of mixed vegetables to 1.5 to 2 litres of water – though I do not weight them out!  It is best to have a variety.

As with most Polish soups the ingredients are chopped, sliced or grated in the liquid.

 

Ingredients

  • Carrots
  • Celeriac or Celery
  • Garden peas
  • Green Beans
  • Kohlrabi or White Turnip
  • Leeks or Onions
  • Parsnips or Parsley root
  • Potatoes
  • 40g butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • To garnish
  • Dill and or flat-leaved parsley

Method

  • Peel, were needed then slice, cube or grate the vegetables.
  • Gently fry the leeks or onions in the butter.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables and around 2 litres of hot water.
  • Bring to the boil
  • Turn the heat to simmer and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes or more (depends on the size of the vegetables).
  • Serve topped with dill and or flat-leaved parsley.

Served on Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 – 1981.

Version 2

  • As above but use chicken stock as well as some of the water or cook with chicken wings.
  • Remove the chicken wings before serving.

Served on Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998.

 

Dumplings … just one word!

In Polish cookery there are many items, made with flour or potatoes, which when you look up English words to describe them, you find just one word … dumplings!

Some are similar – some quite different – some I have already written about – some I will be doing in the future.

Below is a list – with links to those already written about.

 

See also:

I am planning to write about pyzy soon and then will start to make all the rest.

 

Semi French? Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie 2

There are two similarly named pastries in Polish cookery:

  • Ciasto francuskie  – translates as French pastry – this is puff pastry.
  • Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie  – translates as half or  semi French pastry.

I have seen ciasto pȯłfrancuskie described as rough  puff pastry  – but it  is not – rough puff is a slightly easier and quicker version of puff pastry.

I have seen many different recipes for this semi-French pastry and they fall into three broad categories:

  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – śmietanowe – dough  made with some soured cream. 
  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – serowe  –  dough made with twaróg – curd cheese.
  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – drożdźowe – dough made with yeast.

Ciasto  pȯłfrancuskie 2 – with curd cheese – twaróg

Ingredients

  • 225g plain flour
  • 225g butter
  • 225g twaróg – curd cheese or yoghurt cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of soured cream – maybe needed – depends on dampness of the cheese

Note as you use equal parts of the three main ingredients, you can make an amount suited to you needs – I usually go by how much yoghurt cheese I have.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220ºC
  • Grease several baking sheets.
  • You need to get the curd cheese as dry as possible, if you are using homemade then allow this to strain as long as possible.
  • Put the flour into a large bowl.
  • Add the butter and with a knife chop it up roughly.
  • Then with your finger tips rub the butter in until you have fine breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in the curd cheese and bring the dough together, adding as much soured cream as is needed.
  • When using my own yoghurt cheese I often do not need any soured cream.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and leave in a cool place for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 4 and work with each quarter at a time, leaving the rest in a cool place .
  • Roll the dough out thinly
  • Cut into  circles using a 7cm cutter.
  • Add around a teaspoon of filling* see below and fold the circle into half.
  • Pinch the edges together carefully.
  • Place the pastries on the greased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.
  • For ones with sweet fillings dust with icing sugar whilst still warm.

Fillings

You can use lots of savoury or sweet fillings – here are a few suggestions:

  • Date
  • Poppy seed mixture
  • Walnut
  • Hazelnut

All filling must be cool before using.

Date

  • Chop 200g of dried dates.
  • Place in a small saucepan and cover with water (and you can add a little lemon juice).
  • Heat gently and stir.
  • Cook until you have a soft pulp.

 

Poppy Seed Mixture

 

See instructions in an earlier post – ciasto pȯłfrancuskie 1

Walnut

  • Grind 100g of chopped walnuts.
  • Add the nuts to around 3 tablespoons of apricot jam.
  • Mix well together.

 

You can do the same with hazelnuts.

Minestrone

Minestrone in Poland is called włoska zupa which means Italian soup.

It is a mixed vegetable soup (sometimes made with a meat base stock) and often has pasta or rice added to it.  Some versions have grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on before serving.

The name comes from –  ministrare – to serve or to administer (some think this links to serving or administering it for health reasons).

My memories of this soup is that it had always had some shredded Savoy cabbage in it.

Savoy cabbage was introduced into England in the 18th century from The Netherlands and it is named after the Savoy Region in France.

In Poland it was introduced in the 16th century along with other vegetables by the Italian chefs that came with the Italian Princess Bona Sforza who married the Polish King, Zygmunt the Old.  In Polish it is called włoska kapusta  which means Italian cabbage.

I have found dozens of recipes and all use many different vegetables – I could not really get a consensus so have tried out a couple of variations.

Here is an alphabetic list of suggested vegetables:

  • Beans – Borlotti or Cannellini
  • Beans – whole green
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Celeriac
  • Courgettes
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers – red, orange or yellow
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes (or tomato purée)

You need around 600g of mixed vegetables  to make  2 litres of soup with 100 – 150g being Savoy Cabbage.

As a minimum, I would always have: carrots, onions (or leeks), Savoy cabbage and tomatoes.

You can use whatever is in season as well as frozen or tinned vegetables.

Marjoram (Origanum majorana) or Oregano (Origanum vulgare) are two of the herbs used to flavour Minestrone as well as Flat-leaved Parsley and maybe Basil.

Marjoram & Oregano are both in the Lamiaceae (Mint) family with Marjoram having a milder, floral and woody flavour and Oregano being stronger, more pungent and spicy.  (Marjoram is more readily available in Poland – especially in dried form).

I often just use dried Italian Herbs.

Minestrone Version 1

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 tomatoes
  • 100g of Savoy cabbage
  • 2 – 3 carrots
  • 2 -3 sticks of celery
  • 50g green beans
  • 1 large onion
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Marjoram or Italian herbs – fresh or dried
  • Salt &  ground black pepper

Method

  • Skin the tomatoes using boiling water and chop them up.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces and fry in hot olive oil.
  • Chop the carrots, celery and green beans and add them to onion.
  • Continue frying gently to soften them.
  • Place these  and the tomatoes into a large pan and add 1.5 – 2 litres of boiling water.
  • Shred the cabbage into fine strands and add these to the pot.
  • Add the herbs and salt and ground black pepper.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 45 minutes.
  • Season to taste.

Option

If you like more of a tomato taste add a couple of tablespoons of tomato purée before simmering.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 to 1998.

Minestrone Version 2

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 100 -150g Savoy cabbage
  • 2 – 3  carrots
  • 2  – 3 leeks
  • Spinach  – can be 50g of frozen
  • 1 -2 tins of Borlotti or Cannellini beans
  • 1.5 litres of chicken stock – can be from cubes
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Marjoram or Italian herbs – fresh or dried
  • Salt &  ground black pepper
  • Cooked pasta – a small handful per serving

Method

  • Skin the tomatoes using boiling water and chop them up.
  • Chop the leeks into rounds and fry in hot olive oil.
  • Chop the carrots and pepper and add them to leeks.
  • Continue frying gently to soften them.
  • Place these and the tomatoes into a large pan and add 1.5 – 2 litres of chicken stock.
  • Shred the cabbage into fine strands and add these to the pot.
  • Add the herbs and salt and ground black pepper.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 20 minutes.
  • Drain the beans from the tin and add these to the soup.
  • Add the spinach.
  • Bring to the boil again and then simmer for around 20 minutes
  • Season to taste.
  • Add some cooked pasta (chopped if necessary) to each soup plate and cover with hot soup and serve.

Served in Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 to 1981.

Red on Red!

I recently went to a family gathering, although it was in fact a very sad occasion, it did include a lovely buffet meal.

There was a beetroot and carrot salad served, which had a lovely sweetness and seemed to me quite Polish in style.

I asked one of cousins if she knew who had made the salad and was told that this was one of the dishes supplied by a local “deli” in Consett.

So I have had a go at making this and made one with beetroot and another with red cabbage – both delicious.

Serve with cold meats and Polish style sausages or roast pork or grilled lamb chops.

Sweet Red Dressing

I made the same dressing for both of the salads – using redcurrant the first time and lingonberry the second.

Ingredients

  • Around 200g (7-8 tablespoons) of either Redcurrant jelly, Lingonberry jam or Cranberry sauce.
  • Juice of one lemon.

Method

  • Put the jelly/jam into a small saucepan.
  • Add the lemon juice.
  • Heat gently and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Keep stirring until the ingredients have combined and you have a thick liquid.
  • Leave to cool before use.

Beetroot & Carrot Salad

Ingredients

  • Boiled beetroots  – I used 2 vacuum packets
  • 2 Carrots

Method

  • Chop the beetroot into small chunks or cubes.
  • Grate the carrots using the coarse grater.
  • Mix the beetroot and carrots together.
  • Pour the dressing over them and mix well.
  • *
  • I found that this was better if it was left for many hours as the beetroot really absorbs the dressing.
  • You can add the dressing to the beetroots first and leave overnight and then add the carrots the next day.

 

  • Instead of chopping the beetroot you can grate it using a coarse grater.

Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad

Ingredients

  • Half a red cabbage
  • 2 carrots

Method

  • Grate the red cabbage using a coarse grater.
  • Grate the carrots.
  • Mix the red cabbage and carrots together.
  • Pour the dressing over them and mix well.
  • *
  • This is also better when left for several hours before serving.

Note 

Both keep well for several days in a covered glass or plastic container in the fridge.

Half French?- Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie 1

Ciasto  pȯłfrancuskie translates as half or semi French pastry.

Now this does not really mean anything to me!

I am going to start this post with a little introduction to two similarly named pastries frequently used in Polish cooking.

  • Ciasto francuskie  – translates as French pastry
  • Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie  – translates as half or semi French pastry.

They are both buttery, unsweetened pastry.

French pastry is puff pastry.

Now I do not intend to write about puff pastry as it is something I am really not inclined to make as it is so time consuming and you can buy ready made version both chilled and frozen which are okay.

Maybe in several years when short of topics I might give it a go!

I am going to write about ciasto pȯłfrancuskie. I  have seen this described as rough puff pastry  – but it  is not – rough puff is slightly easier and quicker than puff pastry  but once again I am not going to write about this.

I have seen many different recipes for this half-French pastry and they fall into three broad categories:

  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – śmietanowe – dough  made with some soured cream.
  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – serowe – dough made with twaróg – curd cheese.
  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – drożdźowe – dough made with yeast.

Ciasto  pȯłfrancuskie 1 – with soured cream

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 225g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 yolks
  • 4 tablespoons of soured cream

Method

This dough should be left for around 12 hours in a cool place before using therefore I usually make this in the evening for the next morning.

  • Put the flour into a large bowl.
  • Add the butter and with a knife chop it up roughly.
  • Then with your finger tips rub the butter in until you have fine breadcrumbs.
  • Beat the egg and yolks together.
  • Stir in the egg and some of the soured cream.
  • Bring the dough together, adding as much soured cream as is needed to bring the dough together.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and leave covered in the bowl in a cool place for around 12 hours.
  • *** After 12 Hours ***
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220ºC
  • Grease several baking sheets.
  • Divide the dough into 4 and work with each quarter at a time, leaving the rest in a cool place .
  • Roll the dough out thinly
  • The dough is cut into shapes and a teaspoon of filling added and the pastry sealed as appropriate.

Traditional shapes

  • Squares filled and folded into triangles and sealed
  • Triangles filled and rolled up and formed into crescents
  • Circles filled and folded over into semi-circles and sealed.

I found that the circles using a 7cm cutter were the easiest to handle and gave the best filling to to pastry ratio and am sticking to this size and shape.

 

Filling ideas

  • Jam – I found this often escapes from the pastry – lots of care  is needed.
  • Poppy Seed Mix  – * see below
  • Mincemeat – This English fruit mix would be recognised in Poland as bakalie -Balkan mix.

 

 

  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes till golden brown
  • Dust with icing sugar whilst still warm.

 

 

Poppy Seed Filling

I make this amount of  poppy seed filling and then divide it into 4 or 5 small batches and freeze them for later use.

Ingredients

  • 200g poppy seeds
  • 500ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 120 ml runny honey & 1 tablespoon
  • 25g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • optional 1 teaspoon of  rum

Method

  • Put the poppy seeds and milk into a saucepan and simmer then together for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop any sticking or burning. The aim is to cook the seeds and adsorb as much of the milk as possible. You need to watch this carefully and keep adjusting the heat to stop the mixture burning.
  • Using a fine sieve, strain the poppy seeds from the liquid – leave this for a while to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • The poppy seeds need to be crushed, I use a hand held blender for about 5 minutes which I find is the easiest way but you can use a pestle and mortar or a mincer.
  • Once crushed, place the poppy seeds back into a saucepan and add the ground almonds, the vanilla essence and the 120ml of honey and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the butter to the mixture and simmer gently for about 5 minutes and then leave this mixture to cool completely and then add the rum.
  • Whisk the 1 tablespoon of honey with the egg yolk until this is thick and creamy and then add this to the mixture.
  • Optional – add a teaspoon of rum.

 

Pearl Barley

I got the idea for cooking pearl barley this way after making krupnik which  is the name of the very traditional Polish pearl barley soup.

Pearl or pearled barley, is whole grain barley that has been processed to remove its fibrous outer hull and polished to remove some or all of the bran layer.  It is the most common form of barley for cooking.

Pęczak is the Polish for pearled barley.

Seeds and grains such as barley, buckwheat and millet were popular in Poland long before potatoes. Rice used to be very expensive, especially before World War 2.

You can cook pearl barley by either  boiling it in salted water or using the absorption method with three times the volume of water to pearl barley, to get a very good plain addition to a meal.

This method adds some cooked vegetables and lots of taste and I think the use of the dried mushrooms is a must.

Ingredients

  • 10g dried mushrooms
  • 1.5 litres of chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 3 stalks of celery *(or half a celeriac)
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • 2-3 allspice grains
  • Salt & ground black pepper
  • 150g of pearl barley

Method

  • Cover the mushrooms with boiling water and leave overnight.
  • Chop the mushrooms into small pieces.
  • Add the chopped mushrooms and the liquor from soaking to a saucepan of stock.
  • Peel and grate the carrots on a medium grater.
  • Peel and chop the parsnips into small pieces,
  • Chop the celery stalks fine.*
  • Add the carrots, parsnips and celery to the stock.
  • Add the peppercorns and allspice to the pot.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Rinse the pearl barley with cold water.
  • Add the pearl barley to the soup and bring back to the boil.
  • Cook for around 5 minutes.
  • Cover the pot with a lid.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer for around 30 minutes.
  • Check that the pearl barley is nearly cooked.
  • Continue simmering and stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Check the seasonings.
  • *
  • *If using celeriac – peel, cook the whole piece – remove when nearly cooked and chop into small pieces and put back in.

 

Served in a J & G Meakin dish – Topic designed by Alan Rogers – 1966 – 1979.