Ogórkowa (Polish Pickle Soup)

One of my favorite soups is the Ogórkowa (pronounced oh-goor-KOH-vah), which is a salty and savory Polish pickle soup. While to the typical American, a pickle soup might sound a little bit too adventurous, it is truly one of the most comforting and delicious soups that I’ve ever had. Despite how many pickles are in the soup, the pickle taste is somehow subtle and lends such a nuanced depth. Although most people in America have never heard of the soup or anything like it, it’s quite popular in Poland, and with good reason! The recipe below is an adaptation of this recipe by Lois Britton, The Polish Housewife.

The traditional way to prepare the soup calls for taking the vegetables out after they’ve cooked and grating them before returning them to the soup. This is a step that you’ll want to take if you’re trying to recreate the most authentic Ogórkowa as possible. However, I prefer my soups to have some vegetable chunks in them, so I’ve tailored my recipe to accommodate that adjustment. It’s really a matter of personal preference and what textures you’d prefer to have in your soup.

To begin, add your leeks, carrots, celery, onions, and allspice to a large stock pot. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

While the vegetables are simmering, removed the pickles from their container, reserving their liquid for later, and grate them. In a small saucepan, add the grated pickles in a small amount of water and simmer for 20 minutes, then drain and set aside for the soup.

Add the garlic and potatoes to the soup and cook about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the allspice and season the soup with the marjoram, kosher salt, and pepper. Add the grated pickles and reserved pickle juice to the soup.

Just before serving, stir in the heavy cream and chopped dill. If you’re making the soup ahead to keep in the refrigerator or to freeze for later, skip the dill and cream, and wait until you are going to use the soup. Then, after you’ve reheated the soup and you’re about ready to serve it, add about 1/2 tsp freshly chopped dill and ½ Tbsp of heavy cream to each portion and stir. Serve hot.

Ogórkowa (Polish Pickle Soup)

Becca Gallick-Mitchell
This creamy, savory soup is very popular in Poland, and once you try it for yourself, you'll realize why!
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Polish
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 large carrots, scrubbed and diced
  • 2 leeks (white and green parts) halved lengthwise, cleaned, and thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 allspice, whole
  • 1 qt sour dill pickles and brine
  • 1 Tbsp dried marjoram
  • 3 Tbsp dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Add the leeks, carrots, celery, onions and allspice to a large stock pot.
  • Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  • While the vegetables are simmering, removed the pickles from their container, reserving their liquid for later, and grate them. In a small saucepan, add the grated pickles in a small amount of water and simmer for 20 minutes, then drain and set aside for the soup.
  • Add the garlic and potatoes to the soup and cook about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Remove the allspice from the soup and season with marjoram, salt and pepper.
  • Add the grated pickles and reserved pickle juice to the soup.
  • Just before serving, stir in the heavy cream and chopped dill. If making ahead to keep in the refrigerator or to freeze, skip this last step and wait until you are going to use the soup, and just before serving, add about 1/2 tsp freshly chopped dill and ½ Tbsp of heavy cream to each portion.
Keyword Pickle, Polish, Polish Pickle Soup, Polish Soup, Reuben Soup, Soup, Zupa Ogorkowa

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