Knedle – Polish Potato Dumplings

The word knedle comes from a German word knödel which means dumpling.

Knedle are similar to kopytka, both can be called potato dumplings. They are different in shape but both are made with boiled potatoes, which have been left to go cold.

I  often boil potatoes the day before – the exact amounts are not critical but you must use starchy potatoes. When you have made these once you will have a good idea of the amounts involved.

Traditionally they are served with either melted butter or skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon) or charred fried onions.

Ingredients

  • 650 -750g boiled starchy potatoes – such as King Edward or Maris Piper
  • 1 egg & 1 yolk
  • 200g potato flour or plain flour or a mixture of the two.(I prefer a mixture or just plain flour)
  • salt

Method

  • Peel the potatoes, cut them up into pieces and boil them in salted water.
  • Drain the potatoes.
  • Leave the potatoes to cool.
  • Mash them so that there are no lumps – I have a ricer which is very good for this.
  • Use a large bowl and put the mashed potatoes into the bowl.
  • Lightly beat the egg and the yolk together and add this to the potatoes.
  • Add a little salt.
  • Weigh out the flour to give an idea of how much is needed – this will depend on the type of potato and the size of the eggs.
  • Add the flour and mix first with a wooden spoon and then by hand.
  • You might not need all the flour or you may need more.
  • Mix until you have a soft dough.
  • Have ready a large floured board to put the knedle on.
  • With your hands take small amount of the dough and roll into walnut sized balls.
  • On the board flatten the ball to a thick disc.
  • Made a thumb print in the centre of the disc (this allows them to hold more sauce when served).
  • Repeat this with the rest of the dough.
  • Fill a large pan with water, add some salt and bring this to the boil.
  • When the water is boiling, add the dumplings one by one, do not over fill the pan or they will stick together, around 5 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface then let them cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Then remove them with a slotted  or a perforated spoon and put them in a colander.
  • I have a colander sitting in an empty pan by the side of the large pan in which I am boiling the knedle.
  • Served here with melted butter, charred fried onions and mushroom sauce.

Served  in soup dishes by Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 -1988.

Keks -With Fruit Mincemeat – 2

Keks is the word for a light fruit cake which is baked in a loaf tin or more often in a long narrow rectangular tin.

I am not sure how or when the word keks came into the Polish language but I am certain it comes from the English word “cakes” –  however the word keks is singular in Polish and means cake, and the plural is  keksy which is cakes.

Keks are make with bakalie, which is usually translated as dried fruits – however it has more varied fruits than the English version of dried grapes (raisins, sultanas, currants) and  mixed peel and can include: apricots, dates, figs, prunes and nuts.

Keks – using fruit mincemeat

At Christmas time I make English fruit mincemeat using the recipe from Delia Smith but without the chopped nuts.

If I have any mincemeat left over after the Christmas period I make a fruit loaf which which is very much a keks.

This is my second version of a keks with mincemeat.

 

Ingredients

  • 150 butter
  • 150g dark brown sugar
  • Grated zest of an orange
  • Grated zest of a lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 450g jar of mincemeat (exact amount is not critical)
  • 175g  mixture of sultanas, raisins, currants & mixed peel
  • 50g of chopped walnuts
  • 225g  spelt flour
  • 3 level teaspoons of baking powder

Method

  • Preheat the oven to GM3 – 160ºC
  • Prepare the long loaf tin by greasing it and lining the long sides using one piece of greaseproof paper.
  • Lightly cream the butter and sugar.
  • Add the grated zest of the lemon and the orange.
  • Beat in the eggs, one by one.
  • Stir in the mincemeat, the dried fruits and walnuts until it is an even consistency – a wooden spoon is good for this.
  • Mix the spelt flour with the baking powder.
  • Stir in the flour mixture.
  • Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top.
  • Bake for around 60 minutes – check after 50 minutes and cover the top if necessary to prevent burning.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning it out.

 

Served here on hand painted Paragon octagonal tea plates.

 

Vegetable Soup – Creamed

This soup is described as przecierana  which mean rubbed through a sieve. Nowadays a stick blender is more likely to be used to puree the cooked vegetables.

This is more like an English soup with all the ingredients blended together.

The method at the beginning is the same as in an earlier post – Vegetable soup. 

The ingredients for this soup can change with the seasons but if using some frozen or tinned vegetable the ingredients can be very similar all the year round. Though I still find this soup will be slightly different whenever I make it.

Root vegetables are the most prominent and I never use tomatoes or cabbage in this soup.

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

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
  • 125 – 200 ml of soured cream or Greek style yoghurt
  • 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).
  • Remove from the heat.
  • **
  • You can do up to this point, leave to cool for serving later.
  • **
  • Blend the soup, I use a stick blender to get a thick uniform liquid.
  • Season to taste.
  • Bring back to just before the boil.
  • Add the soured cream or the yoghurt* and mix well together.
  • Serve with chopped dill or flat-leaved parsley.

 

* Traditionally this would have been made with soured cream  – I have found that the yoghurt gives a tangy, sour, lemony zing to the soup – most  refreshing in summer.

Served in Royal Stafford – Blossom Time – 1950s

Alternative Topping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 – Tapestry – 1966 – 1988.

 

 

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.

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.

Kapuśniak made with Sauerkraut

In the first year of writing this blog,  I wrote a post – Poles love to eat cabbage and now as I am writing about soups I am going to write about a Polish classic – kapuśniakcabbage soup.

There are two types – ones made with fresh cabbage (written about in my previous post) and ones made with sauerkraut.

Now I am going to write about ones made with sauerkraut and these are certainly soups that have the sour taste loved by Poles.

As half a large jar is enough for each of the soups, I often freeze the other half of the sauerkraut to use at a later date.

 

Kapuśniak – Version 1

Ingredients

  • 400g sauerkraut
  • 200g smoked Polish sausage
  • 1.5 – 2 litres of vegetable stock (can be from powder or cubes)
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 large onion
  • Oil for frying (originally pork fat/lard would have been used)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • **
  • More sugar & lemon juice  to adjust the sourness might be needed at the end.

 

Method

  • Chop the sauerkraut into shorter strands.
  • Chop the sausage into small pieces.
  • Into a large pot of vegetable stock add the sauerkraut, sausage, peppercorns and bay leaf
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and allow it to simmer until the sauerkraut is tender.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces and fry up till nearly charred.
  • Stir in the flour and heat till well browned.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of soup liquid and stir to get a thick roux.
  • Add this onion mixture to the soup, mixing it in well.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  • You might want to adjust the sourness which will depend on the sauerkraut used.
  • I rarely add more lemon juice but sometimes add a bit more sugar.
  • The soup is supposed to be a little sour!

 

 

 

 

 

Served here in Royal Doulton – Burgundy  -1959 to 1981

Kapuśniak – Version 2

Ingredients

  • 400g sauerkraut
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 100g chopped smoked bacon
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • **
  • More sugar & lemon juice  to adjust the sourness might be needed at the end.

Method

  • Chop the sauerkraut into shorter strands.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces
  • Into a large pot of vegetable stock add the sauerkraut, sausage, peppercorns and bay leaf
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and allow it to simmer until the sauerkraut is tender.
  • Add the caraway seeds.
  • Chop the potatoes into small to medium chunks.
  • Add the potatoes to the cooked sauerkraut and simmer gently till cooked.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  • You might want to adjust the sourness which will depend on the sauerkraut used.
  • I rarely add more lemon juice but sometimes add a bit more sugar.
  • The soup is supposed to be a little sour!

 

Served here in Royal Doulton – Tapestry  -1966 to 1988

 

Karoflanka – Potato Soup

When I was young and I told my friends that my mother made potato soup, they all thought this sounded rather weird & tasteless.

Whereas, it was one of my favourite soups and like most Polish soups, it is not a purée, it has chucks of potato in it.

This following is based on my memory of my mother’s recipe.

For the best results, I use rosół (chicken bouillon) or homemade chicken stock when I have it.

Ingredients

  • 750g – 1 kilo of potatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 200g smoked bacon
  • 2 litres of chicken stock or rosół
  • Large bunch of flat leaved parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 grains of allspice
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • A little oil for frying
  • Chopped flat leaved parsley to garnish
  • Extra seasoning may not be necessary because of the bacon and rosół/stock.

Method

  • Chop the smoked bacon into small squares.
  • Slowly heat the bacon in a heavy bottomed pan or good Teflon red spot non stick pan without oil.
  • Let all the fat cook out.
  • Chop the onions into small pieces and fry them with the onions.
  • You want the onions well browned, even some slightly charred.

 

 

  • Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks.
  • Fry them lightly in oil so all sides are done.
  • Mix the potatoes with the smoked bacon and onions in a large pan.
  • Add the chicken stock or rosół.
  • Chop the parsley leaves and add them with the allspice, bay leaf and peppercorns.
  • Add 1.5 to 2 litres of water and bring this to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat, put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for around 15 minutes.
  • You are aiming for cooked pieces of potatoes – do not let it disintegrate to a pulp! 
  • Garnish with chopped flat leaved parsley when serving.

 

Served here in Royal Stafford – Blossom Time from the 1950s

Creamier Version

Looking through other recipes for this soup, I found that often some soured cream was added at the end just before serving.

So add 3 to 4 tablespoons of soured cream to some slightly cooled soup in a little dish and then mix this into the pan and serve.

 

 

Served here in Royal Doulton –  Burgundy – 1959 to 1981.

Note

Both are super –  but my vote is for my mother’s version!