Zupa is soup in Polish – it is a huge topic and I could easily write a book on soups alone.
The words zupa and soup originate from either the French soupe which is a broth or the German sop which is bread used to soak up soup or the Italian zuppa which is a country vegetable soup.
I intend to cook and write about soups in 2019.
Soup is traditionally the first course of the main meal of the day – served usually sometime between 12.30pm to 5pm.
For a larger occasion, the first course can be a cold starter, followed by the soup and then the main course.
My cousins in Poland found it hard to imagine a meal without a soup to start with!
Robert Makłowicz, a Polish TV chef and cookery writer, writes in one of his books
“Polak bez zupy robi się smutny“ – A Pole without soup becomes sad.
Nina Froud is a cookery book writer & editor of the 1961 & 1977, English translations of the 1938 Larousse Gastronomique.
In an introduction to Polish food in Country Cooking, published in 1978, she wrote:
“Poles are hearty but discriminating eaters … they like food unashamedly and are clever at producing delicious dishes from simple and inexpensive ingredients.”
This I think is very true and especially so in the making of soup.
There are so many, many soups – where do I begin?
- hot soups
- chilled (cooling) soups
- fruit soups
- milk soups
12 Well-Known Polish Soups in Alphabetical Order
- Barszcz ………….. Beetroot
- Fasolowa ……….. Bean
- Grochówka …… Pea
- Grzybowa ……… Mushroom
- Kapuśniak …….. Cabbage
- Kartoflanka …… Potato
- Krupnik …………. Barley
- Ogórkowa ……… Gherkin
- Pomidorowa ….. Tomato
- Rosół ………………..Chicken
- Szczawiowa …… Sorrell
- Żurek ……………… Sour Rye
These are just a start!
Soups are served with Garnishes & Accompaniments
Polish Fairy Tale about Soup
My mother used to tell this story to me when I was young – I loved it then and since I have cooked myself I love it even more.
My mother would vary the ingredients so that each time she told it, it could be a different recipe!
Here is a shortened version of the story –
Once upon a time a stranger, with a knapsack on his back, comes to a village and sits down on a path.
He gets out a little cooking pot and pours in some water from a container and lights a little fire underneath and sits waiting for the water to boil.
Whilst waiting he unwraps a shiny stone which was covered in a linen cloth and pops this into the water.
Slowly the villagers come out, curious to see what he is doing.
They ask him what he is doing – “making Magic Stone Soup – the best soup in the world” he replies.
As the water starts boiling the stranger takes out a ladle and takes a sip.
The villagers ask him how it tastes.
“Good”says the stranger “but would taste even better with some potatoes”
“I can get some potatoes” said an old man, who then went off to get them.
The stranger peeled and chopped the potatoes and added them to the pot.
After a few minutes the stranger again takes a sip of the soup, saying it tastes good but that it would taste even better with some onions.
“I can get some onions” said an old woman, who then went off to get them.
The stranger peeled and chopped the onions and added them to the pot.
….here my mother would go on adding ingredient after ingredient, varying them every time she told the story ….
The stranger again takes a sip of the soup, saying it tastes good but that it would taste even better with some salt & pepper.
“I can get that” says a young boy who then went off to get some.
When he comes back the stranger seasons the soup and declares it nearly ready.
“It just needs some flat leaved parsley to garnish it”.
“I can get some” says a young girl.
When she returns the stranger chops the leaves and sprinkles them on the soup.
The stranger then ladles generous servings of it into bowls and handed them around to all the villagers and also has a bowl himself.
He then takes out the stone, wipes it dry and puts it away into his knapsack.