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This Polish Pickle Soup is a 30-Minute Weeknight Wonder 

It’s 5 p.m. and your stomach is rumbling. You need dinner — quick. You wish you had a freezer pizza ready to pop in the oven, but all you have in your kitchen are staples like butter, broth, potatoes, carrots, and … a jar of pickles. Surely you can’t make a meal out of that, right? Wrong! Pickle soup is a delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-make dish with punchy flavor and Polish origins. Learn more about the history of this unique soup and how to make it — it might just become your new weeknight go-to, even if you’re not typically a pickle person (say that five times fast).

The History of Pickle Soup

Pickle soup, or “zupa ogorkowa” in Polish (pronounced “zoopa ogurkova”) is a popular and traditional soup in the Slavic world — especially Poland — according to culture site Folkways. Its name literally translates to “cucumber soup,” titled for its main ingredient: the pickled cucumber. Polish meals typically start with a soup before the main course, and pickle soup is a starter that makes good use of leftovers. It’s perfect for getting rid of common ingredients like potatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, and pickles. Folkways notes that this dish is typically served with a rich, creamy ingredient like plain yogurt, sour cream, or kefir, which is a gut-healthy, fermented milk product. 

How To Make Pickle Soup

Try this recipe for Dill Pickle Soup from Cathy Pollak of food blog Noble Pig. Pollak says it has “the perfect amount of sour and savory pickle flavor” and that it’s so good, it could even convince fervent pickle haters to change their mind. (Click through for another delicious soup recipe containing escarole and beans.)

Dill Pickle Soup (Serves 8 people)

Ingredients: 

  • 5 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 ¾ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups chopped carrots, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles (about 3 large whole dills diced into small pieces)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups dill pickle juice*
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For garnish: 

  • Sliced dill pickles
  • Fresh dill
  • Black pepper

*The author of the recipe notes that different brands of pickle juice will have different salt levels, and recommends tasting soup after adding the juice, but before adding salt, so you can adjust the recipe appropriately. 

Directions: 

  1. Bring broth, potatoes, carrots, and butter to boil, adding pickles once potatoes are tender. 
  2. Mix together next three ingredients, and vigorously whisk into soup, 2 tablespoons at a time. (Keep in mind that the potatoes may break, but that is okay, and any little balls of flour that may form will dissolve with whisking and boiling.)
  3. Add final five ingredients, cook 5 more minutes, and remove from heat. 
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Pollak recommends serving this soup with a side of dippable crusty bread. And since you saved so much time on making a quick dinner, why not bake your own bread from scratch? If you’re looking for yet another reason to make this recipe, keep in mind that today is the last day of Pickle Time Week, a 7-day dedication to the beauty of the pickled cucumber. What better way to celebrate than by serving some delicious pickle soup?

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