Celeriac & Carrot Soup

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


  • 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


  • 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


Caraway Seed Cake 2

I wrote a post on Caraway Seed Cake in March 2018 and in doing so found that although caraway is such a popular herb/spice in Poland and used in breads, meat & vegetable dishes, it is quite surprising that it is not used  in cakes.

I looked in all my recipe books and did not find any use of caraway in Polish cakes.

Caraway – Image from Wikapedia


Caraway seed cake seem to be a quintessential British cake and recently whilst  doing some research into Victorian cooking in the north of England I came across this delicious version.

As I live a short walk away from a house that Charlotte Brontë used to visit, I was very interested to find that seed cake is mentioned in her novel Jane Eyre (1847)

“And then Miss Temple invited Jane and her new friend Helen into her parlour for tea and I began to warm up. The kindly teacher unwrapped before their eager eyes a parcel containing ‘a good-sized seed-cake’.

‘I meant to give each of you some of this to take with you,’ said she, ‘but as there is so little toast, you must have it now,’ and she proceeded to cut slices with a generous hand.

We feasted that evening as on nectar and ambrosia; and not the least delight of the entertainment was the smile of gratification with which our hostess regarded us, as we satisfied our famished appetites on the delicate fare she liberally supplied.”

This recipe has been adapted from –

Mrs Somerville’s Cookery and Domestic Economy, published in 1862 and found in  – The Victorian Kitchen by Jennifer Davies BBC 1989 TV Series.

The original recipe used 10 eggs! – here the ingredients have been adjusted to 5 eggs.

How large the bowl must have been & how hard the whisking of the whites without an electric whisk.


  • 225g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 5 eggs separated


Pre-heat the oven to GM4 180°C.

  • Use a loose bottomed cake tin – 24cm in diameter.
  • Grease the tin and line the base with a circle of greaseproof paper.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, cornflour, ground almonds & caraway seeds.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Add the yolks, one at a time creaming the mixture on each addition.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the creamed mixture.
  • Whisk the egg whites till firm and stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
  • Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth over the top.
  • Bake for 60 minutes, check after 50 minutes and cover with grease-proof paper if necessary – to prevent burning.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.


Caraway Seeds are thought to aid digestion – so this is a good cake to have at the end of a meal.

Royal Albert – Primulette tea set from the 1950s.

Lead Crystal cake stand  – Tortenplatte – Venus  by Nachtmann(Germany).

Not Quite a Cheesecake – version 2

I posted Not Quite a Cheesecake in July of 2018.

I have made it several times since as a larger version when I have had lots of my own yoghurt cheese. For this version I used Morello cherries from a jar.

You can  use twaróg, curd cheese, cream cheese or yoghurt cheese, it is a bit different from my usual Polish baked cheesecake. as it does not have a cake/biscuit type base. Because of this you do need a one piece cake liner for your loose bottomed tin.


  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 3 tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • 150g Ground almonds
  • 400 – 450g Twaróg , Curd cheese or Yoghurt Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt
  • Morello cherries from a 460g net weight jar
  • Optional Topping
  • Juice from the cherries
  • 1 tablespoon of potato or cornflour to thicken the juice.


  • Line a 22cm diameter loose bottomed cake tin with a bought paper cake liner.





  • Preheat the oven to GM5 190°C
  • Drain the cherries from the juice – keep the juice for the topping.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until they are soft and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks one by one until you have a smooth mixture.
  • Add the vanilla essence and the salt and mix in.
  • Add the cornflour, ground almonds and the yoghurt cheese and mix together thoroughly.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
  • Put the cake mixture into the lined tin.
  • Place around half the cherries on top of the mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  • Turn the oven down to GM2 – 150°C and bake for around another 30 minutes.
  • Switch off the oven but leave the cake in there until it is cool.
  • Keep the cake in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature for serving.
  • Dust with icing sugar
  • ***
  • Make a runny sauce from the juice heated with a tablespoon of potato flour.
  • Serve portions with a few cherries on the side and some of the sauce poured on or next to it.


    Served here on tea plates from a coffee service by Midwinter – Queensbury from the 1970s.

Kotlety mielone-2

I wrote the post – Kotlety mielone  quite a while back.

Kotlety is the Polish word for cutlets or chops however mielone means minced – so kotlety mielone are what in the USA are called meat patties or now in England as burgers.

These are a variation on the theme as  I used English sausage meat rather than minced pork.


  • 400g minced beef
  • 250g of premium sausage meat (English style)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 slice of white bread or bread roll, left for half an hour in a bowl with a little milk – do not use the excess milk just the wet slightly squeezed bread








  • 1 onion finely chopped and fried till golden brown and left to cool.








  • 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs or similar
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Dried breadcrumbs – home made – see Breadcrumbs – Bułka tarta
  • Sunflower oil for frying


  • In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together except for the dried breadcrumbs, it is best to do this using both hands, making sure that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • If the mixture seems too wet then add a tablespoon full of dried breadcrumbs and mix this in.
  • Pour some dried breadcrumbs onto a large plate or board.
  • Try to make each one the same size, take a handful of the mixture and press it between your hands to make a flattened circle and then place this in the dried breadcrumbs and turn it over to cover both sides and edges.
  • *
  • Once coated place them on a tray dusted with breadcrumbs until you have used all the mixture up.
  • *
  • Preheat the oven to GM4  – 180°C
  • Shallow fry the kotlety in hot oil, depending on the frying pan size,  you can do  4 to 5 at a time, turning them over so that both sides are done.
  • Place them on a metal baking tray and put these into the oven.
  • Keep adding to the tray until they are all cooked.

Super served with creamy mashed potatoes – sprinkle chopped dill or parsley over them before serving.

Here I served them with boiled potatoes and mushroom sauce and Carrot & Apple salad.

I also like them with any sauerkraut or cabbage salad see  Sauerkraut Salads  and  Cabbage Salad.

The Next Day

You can eat any cold kotlety you have left with a variety of salads.

However I often re-heated them in a sauce in the oven – this time I cooked them in tomato sauce and served them with pasta – you can add some grated Parmesan cheese and sniped chives if you like.



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.


  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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 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


  • 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


  • 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.


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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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