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.

 

Carrot, Leek & Apple Salad

As well as any cookery books and magazines, I have notes and cuttings  from various sources.  Ever so often I look through these for inspiration and think “Yes, I must try that!”.

Here is a recipe for a salad that I jotted down when visiting one of my cousins in Białystok.

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots – coarse grated
  • 2 leeks cut into fine slices
  • 2 eating apples – cored and rough chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of full fat mayonnaise
  • Chopped chives to serve

    Method

  • Mix everything together apart from the chives.
  • Put into a serving dish
  • Sprinkle the chives on top and serve.

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Carrot & Parsnip Soup

I had lots of carrots and parsnips needing to be used up so I decided to make a slightly different soup.

  • I cooked a chicken as for rosȯł – clear chicken bouillon, with instead of 1 or 2 carrots and parsnips, I used around 8 of each, peeled but whole.
  • Once cooked I removed the chicken for a different dish and strained the cooked vegetables from the liquid.
  • For the best results, leave the liquid in a cool place for a few hours or even overnight so that you can skim off some of the chicken fat.
  • Use a blender to purée the carrots, parsnips and the onion.
  • In a saucepan add the puréed vegetables and enough of the liquid stock to give the required consistency for a soup – not too thick.
  • This puréed style of soup is more English than Polish! 
  • Gently heat the soup for around 5 minutes, stirring it occasionally.
  • Check for seasoning and to serve, stir in around 100ml of soured cream or 150ml of Greek style yoghurt.

Ingredients – if not wanting to make the rosȯł from scratch

  • 2 litres of good chicken stock (or a from stock cubes if you do not have any)
  • 8 carrots
  • 8 parsnips
  • 1-2 onions
  • 2-3 grains allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 100ml soured cream or 150ml Greek style yoghurt

Method

  • Simmer the vegetables in the chicken stock with the allspice and bay leaf till they are all soft.
  • Purée the vegetables in the soup using a stick blender.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add soured cream or yoghurt to serve.

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.

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.

Turnips – 3 Ways!

White turnip – rzepa in Polish – is Brassica rapa, a root vegetable of the cabbage family.

 

3 Ways

  1. Raw & grated –  in a salad – surówka
  2. Cooked  & cold  – in a salad – sałatka
  3. Cooked & hot   – as a vegetable, side-dish with a meal

Raw & cooked, white turnip can be used instead of  celeriac or kohlrabi as in all of my posts:

Celeriac salads & More Celeriac salad recipes

Kohlrabi salads.

Various dressing can be used: lemon juice, soured cream, mayonnaise and yoghurt on their own or in various combinations.

Turnip, Carrot & Apple salad

Ingredients

2 Turnips

2 carrots

2  red skinned apples such as Braeburn or Pink Lady

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Method

Peel and coarse grate the turnips and carrots.

Core the apples and chop into small pieces.

Mix them all together wth the lemon juice.

 

Cooked Turnip Salad – 1

Ingredients

2 turnips

2 carrots

Around 100g of cooked frozen peas

2 -3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (full fat is best for cooked vegetables)

Salt & pepper to taste

Method

Peel the turnips & carrots and steam them.

Chop them into rough cubes.

Mix them with the cooked peas and the mayonnaise

 

 

 

Cooked Turnip Salad – 2

As above with the addition of  3 to 4 chopped gherkins

 

Cooked Turnip – served hot

Peel and steam the turnip – not too much you do not want a watery pulp.

Rough mash the cooked turnip.

Serve hot with a variety of toppings.

Skwarki  – crispy smoked bacon bits

Chopped bacon is heated in a fryng pan until all the fat is released and the bacon pieces are crispy.

 

 

Slightly charred onion bits

Chopped onions are gently cooked in a little butter and then slowly heated until they are slightly charred.

 

 

Buttered breadcrumbs – à la polonaise.

 

 

Żurek – Sour Rye Soup

Sour is a word to describe a lot of Polish food – it is a taste well-loved by Poles!

Often this sour comes from lactic acid which is made during fermentation by Lactobacillus bacteria to produce such foods as: gherkins, sauerkraut, sourdough, soured cream, soured milk and yoghurt.

Żurek is a soup made with sour rye (zakwas) as a base.

Water is added to rye flour or rye bread and it is allowed to ferment for a few day.  In olden times this soup was often made on the same day as rye bread was being made.

Nowadays you can buy  żurek starter or zakwas in the Polish supermarkets and this is what I use, (one day I will make my own) and it tastes very good.

My mother never made this soup and in fact I had not heard of it until my Polish cousin’s daughters worked in a Polish restaurant in London in the 1990s and I had some there.

It is often cooked with smoked bacon and Polish sausage – kiełbasa – and then served with quartered or chopped hard boiled eggs.

Some people serve this at the Easter breakfast using the sausage and hard-boiled eggs which have been blessed on Easter Saturday.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Żurek concentrate
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 medium boiled potatoes (waxy type can be better but not essestial)
  • 2 medium boiled carrots.
  • 50 – 100g of smoked bacon
  • 100-150g of Polish sausage*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns & 3-4 allspice grains
  • 4-5 tablespoons of soured cream(optional – but worth it)
  • Season as necessary but the bacon and sausage usually provide enough salt.

****

Hard boiled eggs to serve – at least one per person

*I used Torunska but you can use any sort  – even hot dog type sausages – a sausage called biały (white)(one that is boiled normally) is often used and this gives another name to the soup – biały barszcz – white barszcz (red barszcz being beetroot soup)

Method

  • Peel the carrots and parboil them whole.
  • Parboil the potatoes.
  • Once cooled, chop the carrots and potatoes.
  • Chop the onion roughtly.
  • Chop the bacon into little squares.
  • Chop the sausage into small pieces.
  • Use a large pan and add all the ingredients
  • Add water to cover the vegetables & half to three quarters fill the pan.
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer for a couple of hours.

Chop the hard boiled eggs into long quarters or roughly chop them.

Pour the soup into dishes and place the quarters on top or scatter the chopped egg on top.

Żurek with just vegetables

In olden times when fasting & abstinence in Lent was much more strict, many people did not eat meat or eggs in Lent.

Many lived on a very meagre diet of meatless żurek with hardy any vegetables and there was often a ceremony of burying the żurek at the end of Lent.

This recipe is not as meagre as that, it is made with lots of vegetables and served with hard-boiled eggs or rye bread croutons.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Żurek concentrate
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 leeks
  • 3 medium potatoes (waxy type can be better but not essential)
  • 2-3 medium carrots
  • 2 kohlrabi*
  • 1/2 a celeriac*
  • 1 white turnip*
  • 2 parsnips*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns & 3-4 allspice grains
  • 125 – 250ml of soured cream
  • Flat-leaved parsley -small bunch chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon – optional

*Depends on what is available – try and have at least 2 of these root vegetables & adjust the amounts to suit what you can get.

I think the sweetness in the root vegetables counteracts some of the sourness of the sour rye, so I add lots of soured cream & sometimes some lemon juice.

Hard boiled eggs to serve – at least one per person or rye bread croutons.

Method

  • For all the root vegetables, peel as necessary – you can parboil or steam them if that makes them easier to prepare.
  • Chop the root vegetables into rough cubes.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Add all the vegetables & onion to a large pan or stockpot of water.
  • Add the żurek concentrate.
  • Add the bay leaf, allspice and peppercorns.
  • Add some of the parsley
  • Add water to cover the vegetables & half to three quarters fill the pan.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for around two hours until the vegetables are soft or place in a low oven for several hours.
  • Gently stir in the soured cream – whisk a little if it starts to go into lumps.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add some lemon juice to the required sourness!
  • Sprinkle in the rest of the parsley.

To serve – add the quartered or chopped hard-boiled eggs on top,  or the rye bread croutons.

 

Served in soup plates  – Glenwood by Crown Devon Fielding, Made in England.

These are the only 3 left from my Mama.

I think she must have had 8 or even 12, they are there in memories of my childhood with lots of people sitting around the table.

I have read that they were produced from 1939 -how my Mama aquired these I do not know!

Carrot Piernik

Piernik is a spiced honey-cake.

I would describe this cake as a “Pseudo-piernik” as  granulated sugar rather than honey is used.

My Polish friend in Leeds gave me this recipe and she got it from another Polish lady. The written copy could be described as being in “Ponglish” being written partly in English with additional notes in Polish!

The original recipe used cups which except for liquids I find hard to work with and  much prefer weights.

I tried out a few alterations & variations until I reached this final version which I feel is the easiest way to get consistent results.

I made it is two different tins: the longer tin gave a thinner cake which was  better for cutting in two and adding  a filling, the shorter tin gave a thicker cake which was  better with just a topping.

Ingredients

  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 225g coarse grated carrots
  • 225g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice (I use Marks & Spencer’s) or cinnamon

Method

  • Grease and line a 32cm x 22cm or a 27cm x 21cm tin.
  • Pre-heat oven to GM5 – 190°C
  • Mix well together the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla essence &  orange rind (I use an electric whisk).
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, spices & salt and lightly mix this into the whisked mixture.
  • Mix in the grated carrots.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  • Depending on the tin size, bake for 25 – 35 minutes but keep an eye on it and cover with foil or greaseproof if it starts to burn.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

 

 

Finishing – several ways

  • Dust with icing sugar
  • Drizzle with a melted chocolate & butter mixture
  • Cut into two and sandwich together with powidła – Polish plum jam* or sour cherry jam – then dust with icing and drizzle with chocolate & butter topping
  • Top with orange butter icing

*Powidła is a lovely spread – often translated as jam but  is not really a jam.

It is made from fresh ripe plums which are heated and stirred for hours until the water is driven off and you get a thick paste.  The traditional version does not have any extra sugar added.

I bought some in my local Polish shop, I have seen it for sale in glass jars or in plastic tubs.

Chocolate Drizzle

Ingredients

  • 50g of plain chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Method

  • Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan with some water in it.
  • Heat the water in the pan and stir the mixture to combine it together.
  • Use a spoon to drizzle the mixture over the top of the cake.

 

 

Orange Butter Icing

Ingredients

  • 50g of butter
  • 2 tablespoon of orange juice
  • Grated rind of 1/2  a large orange
  • Around 250g of icing sugar

 

 

Method

  • Melt the butter with the juice and rind in a small saucepan.
  • Leave to cool slightly.
  • Mix in the icing sugar to get a thick spreadable icing.

 

 

Royal Albert – Primulette – tea set – from the 1950s

Green teapot – Café Culture by Maxwell Williams

Optional

Add 100g of sultanas to the mixture.

 

20190313_085148

Note

I have posted a previous carrot recipe which I have used to make small buns.

The ingredients are similar but in different proportions – soft dark brown sugar is used which is not usually available in Poland.

Włoszczyzna – Italian Stuff

When Italian diplomats who spent time in Poland in the 15th century wrote about Polish food, they complained that it was based mostly on meat and many said that – One Pole eats as much meat as 5 Italians.

Tomatoes and many other vegetables  were brought to Poland in the 16th century by the Italian chefs who came with the Italian Princess Bona Sforza who married the Polish King, Zygmunt the Old in 1518.  Many of the names of vegetables in Polish have Italian roots.

To this day, soup greens* are known as włoszczyzna  or “Italian stuff”.

Włoski is the Polish word for Italian.

Some writers say that vegetables other than cabbage and root vegetables were virtually unknown in Poland until  Princess Bona  introduced them, and her cooks helped to bring in the use  of vegetables in royal Polish cuisine;  however records show that the court of King Jagiello (who died in 1434) enjoyed a variety of vegetables including lettuce, beets, cabbage, turnip, carrots, peas and cauliflower.

*Soup Greens is a phrase found in American cookery writing – I have not really seen it in British writing.

Soup Greens are a vegetable stock basis for soups and other  vegetable or fish dishes.

(They are also the vegetables that are used in any casserole type dish).

In German they are known as  suppengrün and in French mirepoix.

The Classic Ingredients are:

Carrots

Leeks

Celeriac

Parsley root

if these are not availabe then use:

Onions

Celery leaves

Parsley stems and leaves

and also  – Bay leaves, Allspice grains, Peppercorns & Salt

Note

The ingredients for

Suppengrün  are carrots, celery, leek and for Mirepoix  are carrots, celery, onions

Often in Poland (and yesterday in my local Polish shop in England) you can buy a ready mixed packet of  the vegetables needed.

 

 

Method

Place all the ingredients in a large pan with water.

Bring to the boil and cover.

Simmer until the vegetables are soft.

Strain the vegetables from the liquid.

 

 

 

Note

If this is being made for a soup  that day,  then some of the vegetables such as the carrots might be sliced and added to the soup.

or

The liquid is kept in glass or plastic containers in the fridge for another time.

If you have no time or ingredients then a very good standby is

Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder.

 

 

 

Note

This post was written in preperation for the huge topic of Soup in Polish Cookery!

This has now been written – here is the link

Zupa -Soup

Rice Salads

For these salads you will need some cold cooked rice – I use long grained or Basmati rice  – but it can be whatever you like to use.

I rarely cook the rice specially – I am more likely to use what is left from a previous meal.

However for these I cooked some rice to see how much was needed.

I find the best dressing for these salads is one based on lemon juice with the addition of some runny honey if you want a little sweetness.

Rice, Peas & Sweetcorn Salad

 

 

 

 

20171108_094335

Ingredients

400g cold boiled rice

100g of cooked garden peas

1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained (or frozen loose sweetcorn – cooked)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & ground back pepper

1 tablespoon of honey if desired

Method

In a large bowl mix the rice, peas and sweetcorn together.

Pour over the juice of the lemon and mix well.

If you are adding honey then warm about 1 tablespoon gently and mix that in.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Rice, Peas,Sweetcorn & Peppers Salad

Ingredients

400g cold boiled rice

100g of cooked garden peas

1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained (or frozen loose sweetcorn – cooked)

1 or 2 fresh red peppers or bottled ones

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & ground back pepper

1 tablespoon of honey if desired

 

Method

In a large bowl mix the rice, peas and sweetcorn together.

If using fresh peppers then remove the stalk and the seeds and chop the flesh into small pieces.

I often blanch the peppers by putting them in a dish with boiling water and letting them stand for about 10 minutes the drain and pat dry.

 

 

If using bottled peppers then drain them from the liquid and cut into small pieces.

Add the peppers to the salad mixture.

Pour over the juice of the lemon and mix well.

If you are adding honey then warm about 1 tablespoon gently and mix that in.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Inspired in Castor – Rice Salad with Leeks

Not long ago I spent a stitching week in Castor, Cambridgeshire, with a  group of super ladies.  I was responsible for some of the catering.  One evening there was a large amount of leftover cooked rice, peas & sweetcorn, so I decided to make this into a salad with other ingredients we had in the kitchen.

This turned out to be a delicious salad and it got a lot of approval & I will certainly be making this again.

Ingredients

400g cold cooked rice

100g Cooked peas

1 small tin of sweetcorn – drained (or frozen loose sweetcorn – cooked)

1 -2 Grated carrots

1 grated eating apple

1 -2 leeks

Green part of spring onions – chopped fine

Flat Leaf parsley – chopped fine

Salt & ground back pepper

Juice of 1 – 2 lemons.

Method

Chop the leeks as fine as you can into circles and then cut these into half and put them into a large dish.

Cover the leeks with boiling water and leave them to stand until the water is cool.

Strain the leeks, leave them to cool down completely and then dry them with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.

 

 

Mix the rice, apple & vegetables together in a large dish.

Pour the lemon juice over the salad.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

This was served with a beef in beer gulasz (casserole) & the salad provided a good balance against the richness of the casserole.

 

 

 

 

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