Krupnik – Pearl Barley Soup

Krupnik is the name of the very Polish  – Pearl Barley soup.

Krupnik is also the name of the famous honey liquor drink known in Poland from the 13th century.

I always wondered why these two had the same name. I now know that krupa is an old name for grain and  barley in particular – hence the connection.

Barley ( Hordeum vulgare) grows in temperate regions and is one of the  oldest known cultivated grains, known in Eurasia as early as 10,000 years ago.

Jęczmień is the Polish for barley.

Pęczak is the Polish for pearled barley.

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. 

I think of this as a quite filling winter soup.

Ingredients

  • 10g dried mushrooms
  • 2 litres of chicken stock (homemade is best – but use cubes if you have no other)
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • Half a celeriac or 3 stalks of celery (celeriac is more traditional but not always available in British shops).
  • 150g of pearl barley
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • 2-3 allspice grains
  • Salt & ground black pepper
  • Flat-leaved parsley – to garnish

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,
  • If using celeriac – peel, cook the whole piece – remove when nearly cooked and chop into small pieces and put back in.
  • If using celery stalks – chop them fine.
  • Add the carrots, parsnips and celery/celeriac 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.
  • If using celeriac – remove and chop it up into small pieces and put it back in.
  • Check that the pearl barley has cooked, simmer for longer if need be.
  • Check the seasonings.
  • Serve garnished with flat-leaved parsley.

 

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Tapestry  – 1966 – 1988.