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

Early Summer Soup

In the original recipe this was called spring soup.  I thought it a bit strange as not all the ingredients are out in spring – so I have re-named it to early summer soup.

Otherwise you could call it green leaves soup!

It is a really super soup – very tangy  with the sourness loved by Poles.

If you have the vegetable stock and some hard boiled eggs ready – then this is a very quick soup to make.

Some of the ingredients – growing in pots in my garden

It is hard to give exact amounts needed – around 500ml in volume of different leaves.

Ingredients

  • Large handfuls of sorrel
  • Large handfuls of spinach – or use frozen leaf spinach
  • Several sprigs of flat-leaved parsley
  • A stem of lovage or some celery leaves
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or concentrate.
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoon of milk
  • 250ml soured cream
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs – 1 per serving

Method

  • Have the vegetable stock ready and hot in a saucepan.
  • Remove all the leaves from the stalks.
  • Chop the leaves.
  • Add the leaves to the stock.
  • Mix the flour with the milk.
  • Add the flour mixture to the soup.
  • Mix well and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the boil and stir in the soured cream.
  • Serve with a hard boiled egg chopped in half per serving.

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation  1982- 1998

Celeriac & Carrot Soup

A variation on a simple celeriac soup with two options on how to serve.

Ingredients

  • 1 Celeriac
  • 3 Large carrots
  • 1 Onion – chopped
  • 1.5 litres of chicken stock (can be from cube or concentrate)
  • 2-3 Allspice grains
  • Butter to fry the onion
  • 5 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *
  • To serve
  • *
  • Soured cream or
  • *
  • Fried potatoes & charred onions

Method

  • Peel the celeriac and chop into large chunks.
  • Peel the carrots and cut into large chunks
  • Lightly fry the onion in butter till golden.
  • Put the celeriac, carrots, fried onion and allspice into a pan of chicken stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer with a lid on the pan until the celeriac and carrots are soft.
  • Leave to cool slightly.
  • Purée the soup – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Add the tomato ketchup.
  • Season to taste.
  • Bring the soup back to the boil for a couple of minutes.

To serve – 1

  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of soured cream and stir.

To serve – 2

  • Serve with fried potatoes and charred onions.

Served in Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 – 1998