Green Bean Soup

Phaseolus vulgaris is the Common bean or French bean. In Polish it is fasola szparagowa, which  translates as asparagus bean.

This was once just a late summer soup when there were lots of beans ready for cooking.

Nowadays it is one that can be made all year round using frozen whole green beans.

Ingredients

  • 400 – 500g of whole green beans
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate)
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion
  • Leaves from around 6 sprigs of marjoram & extra for serving.
  • 125ml of milk
  • 1½ tablespoons of  cornflour
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • *
  • Rye Bread croutons to serve

Method

  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Fry the onion gently in the butter till golden – do not brown.
  • Chop the beans into small pieces.
  • Put the onions, beans and stock into a large saucepan.
  • Add the marjoram leaves.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer gently with the lid on until the beans are soft.
  • Mix the cornflour with the milk.
  • Stir this into the soup – increase the heat and continue stirring until the soup is thickened.
  • Add some more marjoram leaves.
  • Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  • Stir in the soured cream and serve.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 – 1981

Liver Pulpety Served in Green Soup

I wrote about pulpety over three years ago. They are small meatballs which are simmered, often in stock, not fried.

They are often used as an accompaniment for soup,

In this recipe the liver pulpety are cooked directly in the soup and served with it.

Ingredients – Pulpety

  • 150g of pork liver or chicken liver
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped flat-leaved parsley.
  • 60g-80g of dried breadcrumbs – see Breadcrumbs – Bułka tarta
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • Some plain flour for your hands for shaping.

Method -Pulpety

  • Mince the liver or wizz in a mini-chopper.
  • In a large bowl mix all the liver, egg and parsley together.
  • Add salt & pepper.
  • Add enough dried breadcrumbs so that it is a firm mixture – best to do this using both hands, making sure that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Put some flour in a dish for your hands to make it easier to shape the pulpety.
  • Pinch off small bits of the mixture and roll the piece between your hands to make small round balls and place these onto a floured board or tray whilst you make them all.
  • *
  • Leave these to chill in a cool place or in the fridge.

Ingredients – Soup

  • 1 litre of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g frozen whole green peas
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method – Soup

  • Chop the green beans  into small pieces similar in size to the peas.
  • Chop the green and white parts of the spring onions in to small pieces.
  • In a large pan melt the butter.
  • Add the chopped spring onions and fry gently till golden.
  • Add the peas and beans.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the peas and peas are cooked.
  • Season to taste.
  • Bring the soup up to the boil.
  • Drop the pulpety into the boiling liquid and then let them simmer for around 5 -7 minutes.

To serve

Polish style would be to have 3-5 pulpety in a bowl of soup –  but for a light lunch  have a large bowl of soup with lots of pulpety per serving.

 

Leek & Potato Soup

Caraway seeds give this soup a wonderful taste and make it very different from an English style leek & potato soup.

Ingredients

    • 3-4 leeks
    • 3 medium sized potatoes
    • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (I use Marigold powder)
    • 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds.
    • Butter to fry leeks
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • *
    • Garnishes to serve – chopped chives or flat-leaved parsley.

Method

  • Put the stock into a large pan and bring to the  boil.
  • Peel the potatoes and chop into small rough cubes.
  • Add the potatoes to the stock.
  • Add the caraway seeds.
  • Leave to simmer.
  • Chop the leeks into circles and then quarter these.
  • Gently fry these in butter to soften but not to brown them.
  • Add the leeks to the stock and potatoes.
  • Put a lid on the pan.
  • Leave to cook on a medium simmer until the potatoes are soft.
  • *
  • Serve garnished with chopped chives or flat-leaved parsley.

 

Served in  Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Fruit Soups

Fruit soups are very popular in Poland especially in summer.

Many may think they seem rather strange, however once tasted, I hope, like me you will think that they are “nectar from the gods!”

Just like other soups they are served as a first course.

They are eaten – hot or warm, at room temperature or chilled. – This can vary with the time of the year and people’s preferences.

  • Many are served with a variety of soup accompaniments such as cooked pasta or croutons – either from white rolls or rye bread.  Sponge fingers or little biscuits are also often served with them.
  • They can be made from fresh (or frozen) fruit or bottled fruit and also from dried fruit.
  • Most recipes are for single single fruit versions but you can use mixed fruits depending on what is available but try to keep to just 2 or 3 fruits.
  • These soups should not be over sweet.
  • Potato flour is usually used as a thickening agent but you could substitute cornflour for this.
  • Some recipes had soured cream added, sometimes before serving.

I am going to look at 3 different summer fruit flavours in this post:

  • Rhubarb
  • Sour cherry
  • Strawberry

Later I will look at others including using dried fruits, which are more for the winter time and would usually be served warm or hot.

Rhubarb Soup

Ingredients

  • 500g rhubarb
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of potato flour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 125 ml of soured cream

Method

  • Cut the rhubarb into small chunks.
  • Put the rhubarb and spices into a large saucepan.
  • Add the water, bring to the boil then simmer till the rhubarb is falling apart.
  • Sieve to remove the pulp.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid.
  • Mix the potato flour with the soured cream.
  • Add this to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  • Serve hot or warm with rye bread croutons or cold cooked pasta.
  • or add a few fresh strawberries or alpine strawberries to each portion.

Sour Cherry Soup

I have never seen fresh soured cherries for sale in England, so my recipe is based on using bottled soured cherries, which works very well and can be made all year round.

Ingredients

  • 500 -600g of bottled cherries
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 4- 6 cloves
  • Strips of peel from 1 lemon
  • Water to make the juice amount  up to 1.5 litres
  • 1½ tablespoons of potato flour
  • *
  • I did not add any extra sugar to the bottled cherries

Method

  • Depending on the jar of cherries – you may have to stone them.
  • Put the cherries, cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon peel into a saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently, with a lid on, until the cherries are very soft.
  • Leave to go cold.
  • Remove the spices and lemon peel.
  • Blend the cherries to a pulp.
  • Mix the potato flour and a little of the liquid in a small dish.
  • Add the potato flour mixture to the blended cherries.
  • Bring up to the boil gently, stirring often.
  • Simmer and stir until the soup thickens.
  • *
  • Serve hot or chilled with cold pasta.
  • *
  • I like this best hot – even on a warm day.

 

Strawberry Soup

  • This is best eaten chilled – the strawberries are not cooked.
  • If you prefer a tangier taste add the juice of a lemon at the end.

Ingredients

  • 450-500g  strawberries
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of potato flour
  • 1 litre of water
  • 250ml of soured cream

Method

  • Add the sugar to the water and bring this to the boil.
  • Mix the potato flour with a small amount of water.
  • Add this to the sugar water.
  • Heat and stir till it thickens.
  • Leave to chill.
  • Add the soured cream and mix together.
  • Remove any leaves and stalks from the strawberries.
  • Gently wash the strawberries.
  • Blend the strawberries to a pulp.
  • Stir the strawberry pulp into the chilled thickened sugar – cream mixture.
  • Chill for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with sponge fingers or sponge drops*.

* Recipe will be posted soon.

Served in –

  • Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998
  • Midwinter – Spanish Garden – 1966 – 1982

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.

 

Chłodnik- 5- with Gherkins

Here is another classic, chilled starter for a summer’s day.  It will be the last for this summer –  I will be looking out for more for next year!

Ingredients

  • 3 -4 gherkins
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt
  • Handful of dill
  • Gherkin liquor and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve

Method

  • Chop the gherkins into small pieces.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Thin down the yoghurt with gherkin liquor and water to suit.
  • Mix with the chopped gherkins.
  • Add dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Sprinkle with chopped hard boiled eggs to serve.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Asparagus Soup

 Asparagus officinalis was popular in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

It was called sparagus in Medieval Latin  – szparag in Polish and was known as sparrow grass in some parts of England.

Nowadays asparagus is cultivated in Western Poland – you will find both green and white asparagus for sale.

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh asparagus (green)
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (can be from cube or concentrate – Marigold powder is good)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 125ml soured cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Cut the tips off the asparagus spears.
  • Cut the very dried ends of the stalks off and discard.
  • Cut the stalks into several pieces.
  • To a large pan of stock add the stalks and butter and bring to the boil.
  • Turn down the heat, put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for around 10 minutes until the stalks are tender.
  • Take a little of the hot stock out of the pan.
  • In a smaller pan, poach the asparagus tips lightly in the stock so they still have a bite.
  • Add the liquid back to the pan with the stalks.
  • Take the large pan of stalks off the heat, cool slightly (to avoid hot splashes).
  • Use a stick blender or similar and purée the stalks carefully.
  • In a small dish mix the soured cream and egg yolks together.
  • Add the soured cream mixture to the puréed soup.
  • Bring back up to just before the boil and use a balloon whisk to mix it all together.
  • Season if necessary (often not needed – depends on the stock).
  • Add the asparagus tips.
  • Serve immediately making sure there are tips in each serving.

Chłodnik – 3 – Beetroot & Cucumber

This chilled soup is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.

Beetroot concentrate is used in this easy version.

Ingredients

  • Half  a cucumber
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt or 300ml soured cream & lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of beetroot concentrate
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve – ½ egg per person

Method

  • Part peel the cucumber length-ways to give stripes.
  • Chop the cucumber into small cubes.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Mix the yoghurt or soured cream & lemon juice with the beetroot concentrate.
  • Thin this down with lemon juice and water to suit.
  • Mix with the chopped cucumber.
  • Add dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Serve with quarters of hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chives.

 

 

Served in Tapestry  by Royal Doulton – 1966 – 1988

Chłodnik – 2 – Beetroot & Gherkin

Chłodnik means coolant and it is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.

This classic version is usually make with botwiny for which I cannot find a good translation into English.

Botwiny are young beetroots with the stalks and some leaves still attached. In Poland you can buy bunches of these for sale or you can pick them early from your garden or allotment.  Here in England I have not see them for sale so if you want them you will have to grow them for yourself.

If you do have some you use all the parts – the roots, stalks and the leaves otherwise you just use cooked beetroot.

The classic version uses soured milk but unless you have access to this then Greek style natural yoghurt or soured cream and lemon juice are good alternatives.

I use beetroot concentrate which is convenient and very tasty.

 

1 tablespoon of beetroot concentrate to 250ml of yoghurt is a good proportion.

Ingredients

  • 250g of cooked beetroots
  • 3-4 gherkins
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt or 300ml soured cream
  • 2 tablespoons of beetroot concentrate
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and gherkin liquor and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve – ½ egg per person

Method

  • Chop the beetroot into small cubes.
  • Chop the gherkins into small cubes.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Mix the yoghurt or soured cream & lemon juice with the beetroot concentrate.
  • Thin this down with lemon juice, gherkin liquor & water to suit.
  • Add the chopped beetroots, gherkins, dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Serve with quarters of hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chives or dill.

 

Served in Carnation by Royal Doulton – 1982 – 1998

Chłodnik – 1 – Clear Beetroots

The word chłodnik means coolant and it is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.  The word is often translated as cold soup and that just does not do it justice.

Now my mother never made chłodnik and with the thoughts of a cold soup, which might be a little greasy I never imagined it would be good.

Then on a summer visit to Poland, one of my aunties made it with beetroots from her garden.  She served it with a bowl of steaming boiled potatoes, lightly crushed, also freshly dug from the garden.  I remember these as the most delicious potatoes I had ever had.  The chłodnik was wonderful and I was hooked!

 

 

 

This is a chilled version of  barszcz the classic Polish beetroot soup.

I make the clear, meat-free, Lenten barszcz made for Wigilia – Christmas Eve .

Many years ago I started to make my barszcz with beetroot concentrate as the base, with the addition of  vegetable stock and this has  proved to be very popular. This is what I used for the chłodnik.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sometimes also use barszcz from a carton, which is incredible, tastes home made!  However there was none in stock at my local Polish shop last week.