Ogórkowa – Gherkin Soup -2

I posted the recipe for ogórkowa – gherkin soup, which is a classic Polish soup, over a year ago.

It is sour, a taste much loved by the Poles!

It is traditionally made from brine fermented gherkins but you can also use pickled gherkins.

I was sorting out my cutting and notes the other day and came across this recipe from my aunt in Białystok and decided it was time I made this version.

Ingredients

  • 250g gherkins
  • 125ml gherkin liquid
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (can be from cubes or powder)
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled – boiled or steamed
  • 3-4 carrots whole – peeled – boiled
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Chopped dill – some to add and some  to serve

Method

This is easiest to make if you have some potatoes and carrots boiled already.

  • Add the gherkin liquid to the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Rough chop the gherkins.
  • Drop the gherkins into the liquid and simmer for around 20 -25 minutes.
  • Chop the boiled potatoes into rough cubes.
  • Chop the boiled carrots into circles or half circles (depending on the size)
  • Add the potatoes and carrots, stir and simmer for around 5 minutes.
  • Stir in some chopped dill.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Serve with extra dill sprinkled on top.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 – 1988.

 

Leek Soup

This is a simple soup, which I make using vegetable stock although you can use chicken stock if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Leeks
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock (I use Marigold powder)
  • 125ml soured cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Butter to fry leeks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *
  • To serve – chopped chives or a little grated Gouda style cheese.

Method

  • Chop the leeks into fine rounds.
  • Fry the leeks gently in butter to soften then.
  • Add them to the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and put a lid on the pan.
  • Simmer gently until the leeks are soft.
  • Take the pan off the heat for a few minutes.
  • Purée the soup – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Season to taste.
  • In a small bowl mix the soured cream and egg yolks.
  • Bring the soup back up to the boil and then take take of the heat.
  • Add the soured cream mix and whisk in.
  • *
  • Serve with some chopped chives or around a tablespoon of grated Gouda style cheese.

 

Served in Soup Dishes by Midwinter – Spanish Garden – 1966 – 1982.

Chłodnik- 5- with Gherkins

Here is another classic, chilled starter for a summer’s day.  It will be the last for this summer –  I will be looking out for more for next year!

Ingredients

  • 3 -4 gherkins
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt
  • Handful of dill
  • Gherkin liquor and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve

Method

  • Chop the gherkins into small pieces.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Thin down the yoghurt with gherkin liquor and water to suit.
  • Mix with the chopped gherkins.
  • Add dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Sprinkle with chopped hard boiled eggs to serve.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Chłodnik – 4 – Cucumber

This chłodnik is a simple cool starter for a hot summer’s day.

 

Ingredients

  • Half  a cucumber
  • Spring onions – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste

Method

  • Part peel the cucumber length-ways to give stripes.
  • Chop the cucumber into small cubes.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Thin down the yoghurt with lemon juice and water to suit.
  • Mix with the chopped cucumber.
  • Add dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • Sprinkle with chopped chives to serve.

 

Served in Soup Dishes by Midwinter – Spanish Garden – 1966 – 1982.

Asparagus Soup

 Asparagus officinalis was popular in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

It was called sparagus in Medieval Latin  – szparag in Polish and was known as sparrow grass in some parts of England.

Nowadays asparagus is cultivated in Western Poland – you will find both green and white asparagus for sale.

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh asparagus (green)
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (can be from cube or concentrate – Marigold powder is good)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 125ml soured cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Cut the tips off the asparagus spears.
  • Cut the very dried ends of the stalks off and discard.
  • Cut the stalks into several pieces.
  • To a large pan of stock add the stalks and butter and bring to the boil.
  • Turn down the heat, put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for around 10 minutes until the stalks are tender.
  • Take a little of the hot stock out of the pan.
  • In a smaller pan, poach the asparagus tips lightly in the stock so they still have a bite.
  • Add the liquid back to the pan with the stalks.
  • Take the large pan of stalks off the heat, cool slightly (to avoid hot splashes).
  • Use a stick blender or similar and purée the stalks carefully.
  • In a small dish mix the soured cream and egg yolks together.
  • Add the soured cream mixture to the puréed soup.
  • Bring back up to just before the boil and use a balloon whisk to mix it all together.
  • Season if necessary (often not needed – depends on the stock).
  • Add the asparagus tips.
  • Serve immediately making sure there are tips in each serving.

Chłodnik – 3 – Beetroot & Cucumber

This chilled soup is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.

Beetroot concentrate is used in this easy version.

Ingredients

  • Half  a cucumber
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt or 300ml soured cream & lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of beetroot concentrate
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve – ½ egg per person

Method

  • Part peel the cucumber length-ways to give stripes.
  • Chop the cucumber into small cubes.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Mix the yoghurt or soured cream & lemon juice with the beetroot concentrate.
  • Thin this down with lemon juice and water to suit.
  • Mix with the chopped cucumber.
  • Add dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Serve with quarters of hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chives.

 

 

Served in Tapestry  by Royal Doulton – 1966 – 1988

Chłodnik – 2 – Beetroot & Gherkin

Chłodnik means coolant and it is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.

This classic version is usually make with botwiny for which I cannot find a good translation into English.

Botwiny are young beetroots with the stalks and some leaves still attached. In Poland you can buy bunches of these for sale or you can pick them early from your garden or allotment.  Here in England I have not see them for sale so if you want them you will have to grow them for yourself.

If you do have some you use all the parts – the roots, stalks and the leaves otherwise you just use cooked beetroot.

The classic version uses soured milk but unless you have access to this then Greek style natural yoghurt or soured cream and lemon juice are good alternatives.

I use beetroot concentrate which is convenient and very tasty.

 

1 tablespoon of beetroot concentrate to 250ml of yoghurt is a good proportion.

Ingredients

  • 250g of cooked beetroots
  • 3-4 gherkins
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt or 300ml soured cream
  • 2 tablespoons of beetroot concentrate
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and gherkin liquor and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve – ½ egg per person

Method

  • Chop the beetroot into small cubes.
  • Chop the gherkins into small cubes.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Mix the yoghurt or soured cream & lemon juice with the beetroot concentrate.
  • Thin this down with lemon juice, gherkin liquor & water to suit.
  • Add the chopped beetroots, gherkins, dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Serve with quarters of hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chives or dill.

 

Served in Carnation by Royal Doulton – 1982 – 1998

Chłodnik – 1 – Clear Beetroots

The word chłodnik means coolant and it is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.  The word is often translated as cold soup and that just does not do it justice.

Now my mother never made chłodnik and with the thoughts of a cold soup, which might be a little greasy I never imagined it would be good.

Then on a summer visit to Poland, one of my aunties made it with beetroots from her garden.  She served it with a bowl of steaming boiled potatoes, lightly crushed, also freshly dug from the garden.  I remember these as the most delicious potatoes I had ever had.  The chłodnik was wonderful and I was hooked!

 

 

 

This is a chilled version of  barszcz the classic Polish beetroot soup.

I make the clear, meat-free, Lenten barszcz made for Wigilia – Christmas Eve .

Many years ago I started to make my barszcz with beetroot concentrate as the base, with the addition of  vegetable stock and this has  proved to be very popular. This is what I used for the chłodnik.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sometimes also use barszcz from a carton, which is incredible, tastes home made!  However there was none in stock at my local Polish shop last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Pea Summer Soup

  • Dried peas were part of a staple diet in the Middle Ages in Europe.
  • Eating fresh and immature green peas was a more modern delicacy.
  • This soup could have only been made summer and the peas would have had to be shelled.
  • The invention of fast freezing by Clarence Birdseye, an American, in the 1920s revolutionised the way we eat foods out of season, most notably green peas.
  • In the past the vegetables would have had to be pressed several times through clothes or sieves – nowadays we have stick blenders and similar electrical cooking tools to make this easier.

Ingredients

  • 100 -150g shelled or frozen peas
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • ½ a large lettuce
  • 50g butter
  • 1-2 lovage or celery leaves
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Chopped chives or flat-leafed parsley to garnish

Method

  • Chop white and green parts of the spring onions in small rings.
  • Gently fry in butter to soften but not to brown them.
  • Cut the lettuce into thin strands.
  • Add the lettuce and the peas to the spring onions and mix.
  • Add the lovage or celery leaves and the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for up to 10 minutes until the peas are cooked.
  • Take off the heat and leave to cool a little (for safety).
  • Blend the soup until you have a thick purée.
  • Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Bring back to the boil.
  • Stir in the soured cream and serve.
  • Add a dollop of soured cream to each serving.
  • Garnish each dish with chopped chives, flat-leafed parsley to garnish.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 -1998

Green Early Summer Soup

In olden days, and even in Communist times in Poland, the only vegetables available in winter were root vegetables or preserved or bottled ones.

When sorrel leaves started to grow this marked the end of winter – a herald of spring and the start of fresh greens.

I grow sorrel in pots in my garden.

I posted a recipe for Polish sorrel soup nearly a year ago.  The following recipe does not require as much sorrel, though should you not have any sorrel at all, then use more spinach and another lemon.

Ingredients

  • 100g sorrel leaves
  • 100g of fresh spinach leaves (or use frozen)
  • ½ a head of a large lettuce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 125ml soured cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & Pepper if needed
  • *
  • Chopped hard boiled eggs – around 1 egg  per serving.

Method

  • Have the vegetable stock ready and hot in a saucepan.
  • Remove any thick stalks from the sorrel and spinach.
  • Chop the lettuce, sorrel and spinach.
  • Add them to the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for around 5 minutes.
  • Take off the heat and leave to cool a little (for safety).
  • Blend the soup until you have a thick purée.
  • Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Bring back to the boil.
  • In a small dish mix the soured cream with the egg yolks.
  • Take the pan off the boil and add the lemon juice
  • Stir in the soured cream mixture and then use a balloon whisk to mix it in.
  • Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • *
  • Serve with chopped hard boiled eggs.

 

Soup plate – Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959-1981