Green Early Summer Soup

In olden days, and even in Communist times in Poland, the only vegetables available in winter were root vegetables or preserved or bottled ones.

When sorrel leaves started to grow this marked the end of winter – a herald of spring and the start of fresh greens.

I grow sorrel in pots in my garden.

I posted a recipe for Polish sorrel soup nearly a year ago.  The following recipe does not require as much sorrel, though should you not have any sorrel at all, then use more spinach and another lemon.

Ingredients

  • 100g sorrel leaves
  • 100g of fresh spinach leaves (or use frozen)
  • ½ a head of a large lettuce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 125ml soured cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & Pepper if needed
  • *
  • Chopped hard boiled eggs – around 1 egg  per serving.

Method

  • Have the vegetable stock ready and hot in a saucepan.
  • Remove any thick stalks from the sorrel and spinach.
  • Chop the lettuce, sorrel and spinach.
  • Add them to the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for around 5 minutes.
  • Take off the heat and leave to cool a little (for safety).
  • Blend the soup until you have a thick purée.
  • Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Bring back to the boil.
  • In a small dish mix the soured cream with the egg yolks.
  • Take the pan off the boil and add the lemon juice
  • Stir in the soured cream mixture and then use a balloon whisk to mix it in.
  • Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • *
  • Serve with chopped hard boiled eggs.

 

Soup plate – Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959-1981

Early Summer Soup

In the original recipe this was called spring soup.  I thought it a bit strange as not all the ingredients are out in spring – so I have re-named it to early summer soup.

Otherwise you could call it green leaves soup!

It is a really super soup – very tangy  with the sourness loved by Poles.

If you have the vegetable stock and some hard boiled eggs ready – then this is a very quick soup to make.

Some of the ingredients – growing in pots in my garden

It is hard to give exact amounts needed – around 500ml in volume of different leaves.

Ingredients

  • Large handfuls of sorrel
  • Large handfuls of spinach – or use frozen leaf spinach
  • Several sprigs of flat-leaved parsley
  • A stem of lovage or some celery leaves
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or concentrate.
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoon of milk
  • 250ml soured cream
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs – 1 per serving

Method

  • Have the vegetable stock ready and hot in a saucepan.
  • Remove all the leaves from the stalks.
  • Chop the leaves.
  • Add the leaves to the stock.
  • Mix the flour with the milk.
  • Add the flour mixture to the soup.
  • Mix well and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the boil and stir in the soured cream.
  • Serve with a hard boiled egg chopped in half per serving.

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation  1982- 1998

Celeriac Soup

Having seen lots of celeriac in the shops this week, I decided to make some of this lovely soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 Celeriac
  • 1 Onion – chopped
  • 1 litre of chicken stock (can be from cube or concentrate)
  • 2-3 allspice grains
  • Butter to fry the onion
  • Soured cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped flat-leaved parsley to serve

Method

  • Peel the celeriac and chop into large chunks.
  • Lightly fry the onion in butter till golden.
  • Put the celeriac, 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 is soft.
  • Leave to cool slightly.
  • Purée the soup – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Bring the soup back to the boil.
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of soured cream and stir.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve with a dollop of soured cream and chopped flat-leaved parsley.

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

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.

Cauliflower Soup

I have given two versions of this soup – the only difference is the way it is finished at the end – the start is the same for both.

Note

If you are not using your cauliflower immediately then it is better to store it in a cool place, not in the fridge, with the leaves still on.

Ingredients with Polish style thickening

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock – can be from Marigold Powder
  • 2 tablespoons of potato or corn flour
  •  250ml of milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.

Method

  • Remove all the green leaves from the cauliflower.
  • Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets.
  • Using a large saucepan, add the cauliflower to the stock and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down, put on the lid and leave to simmer for around 10 minutes – checking earlier.
  • Do not let the cauliflower cook too much – you do not want a “mush”!
  • In a small bowl mix the potato/cornflour with 125ml of the milk.
  • In another small bowl mix the egg yolks and the other 125ml of the milk.
  • Add the flour/milk mixture to the soup, stirring with a wooden spoon until it thickens.
  • Add the yolk/milk mixture to the soup and stir gently until it thickens even more.
  • Season to taste.

Ingredients with soured cream

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock – can be from Marigold Powder
  • 200ml of soured cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Remove all the green leaves from the cauliflower.
  • Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets.
  • Using a large saucepan, add the cauliflower to the stock and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down, put on the lid and leave to simmer for around 10 minutes – checking earlier.
  • Do not let the cauliflower cook too much – you do not want a “mush”!
  • Remove from the heat and gently stir in the soured cream.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Optional

  • Serve with some chopped chives, dill or flat leaved parsley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 – 1988

Carrot Variation

Coarse grate a large carrot in with the cauliflower.

This is a variation my mother often did to give an addition to the colour, as my father did not really like just white looking soups or sauces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 – 1981.

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetable Soup

Zupa jarzynowa is vegetable soup (jarzyny are vegetables).

In the past the ingredients for this soup would have changed with the seasons although bottled or tinned vegetable could have been used.  Nowadays with frozen vegetables the ingredients can be very similar all the year round however I still find this soup will be slightly different whenever I make it.

Root vegetable are most prominent and I never use tomatoes or cabbage in this soup. Unlike Minestrone, which is known as Italian Vegetable soup in Poland – this always should have tomatoes and Savoy cabbage in it!

You will need around 600g of mixed vegetables to 1.5 to 2 litres of water – though I do not weight them out!  It is best to have a variety.

As with most Polish soups the ingredients are chopped, sliced or grated in the liquid.

 

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
  • 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).
  • Serve topped with dill and or flat-leaved parsley.

Served on Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 – 1981.

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 – Carnation – 1982 – 1998.

 

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.

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.

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

 

Kapuśniak made with Fresh Cabbage

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

There are two types – ones made with fresh cabbage and ones made with sauerkraut.

Here I am going to write about ones made with fresh cabbage.

Kapuśniak – Version 1

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh white  or sweetheart cabbage (a small head)
  • 100g smoked bacon
  • 1.5 – 2 litres of vegetable stock (can be from powder or cubes)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 or 5 peppercorns
  • 2-3 medium sized potatoes.
  • Salt & pepper – to taste
  • Flat-leafed parsley to garnish

Method

  • With a sharp knife, shred the cabbage and then chop across to get little pieces.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Chop the bacon into small squares.
  • Put the vegetable stock into a large pan.
  • Add the cabbage, onion, bacon, bay leaf and peppercorns.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer, with a lid on, until the cabbage is nearly tender.
  • Peel and chop the potatoes into medium sized chunks.
  • Add the potatoes to the soup and gently simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Check for seasoning.
  • Stir in a handful of chopped flat leaved parsley.
  • Serve with a little chopped flat leaved parsley on top.

Served here in Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 to 1988

Note – If you want to start this in advance, make it up to adding the potatoes.

Kapuśniak – Version 2

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh white cabbage
  • A few pork ribs
  • 1.5 – 2 litres of vegetable stock (can be from powder or cubes)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Flat -leaved parsley to garnish

Method

  • Into a large pan put the pork ribs, peppercorns and the vegetable stock.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer gently with the lid on until the meat is tender.
  • With a sharp knife, shred the cabbage and then chop across to get small pieces.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Add the cabbage and onion to the pan and simmer till the cabbage is tender.
  • You might have top up with a little hot water.
  • Remove the pork ribs – these can be eaten later or as a snack for the cook!
  • Stir in the tomato puree.
  • Check for seasoning.
  • Serve with a little chopped flat leaved parsley on top.

Served here in Royal Doulton  – Burgundy – 1959 to 1981

Kapuśniak – Version 3

This is made as Version 2, after adding the tomato puree, stir in around 100ml of soured cream and mix well in.

Garnish with flat-leaved parsley.

 

Served here in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982  to 1998