Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa)

A white soup bowl with a blue design on the brim with Polish pickle soup and a dollop of sour cream
AuthorChrisCategory, DifficultyBeginner

Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa) is my favorite soup. I learned how to make it in Poland, and it always turns out great. Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa) can be made with or without meat. You can change up the vegetables, add a dollop of cream or not, but the star of the show is the pickles, fermented in brine to be exact.

If you love pickles, consider giving this recipe for Polish Pickle Soup a try.

A white soup bowl with a blue design on the brim with Polish pickle soup and a dollop of sour cream
Yields8 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time35 minsTotal Time55 mins
Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa)
 2 carrots
 5 potatoes
 1 small celeriac or parsely root
 6 large pickles (in brine, reserve brine)
 1-2 bay leaves
 1-2 whole allspice berries
 dill and chives
 sour cream (to dollop on top)
 2 l water or broth (chicken or vegetable) (2 liters is about 8 cups)
 a few chicken legs, thighs or wings, or leftover chicken
 butter or olive oil
How to make Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa)
1

Polish Pickle Soup can be made with or without meat.

2

Peel and chop carrots, parsley root or celeriac, and potatoes. Put water or broth (or a mix of the two) on to boil in a large pot. Begin cooking vegetables and add bay leaves and allspice.

3

This soup isn't going to be clear like Polish chicken soup (Rosół) so don't worry about bringing the soup to a boil. It can boil, no worries.

4

If you are using leftover chicken, add the meat to the broth.

5

If you have raw chicken in small legs or wings, it can be cooked along with the vegetables. Then remove, separate meat, and add back to the pot.

6

If your pieces of chicken are larger, cook the veggies, remove from the pot, then cook the chicken in the pot. Remove the chicken and separate the meat. Add all the meat and veggies back into the pot.

7

Grate, chop, or slice the pickles and add them to the soup. Reserve the brine.

A supermarket shelf with bags of cucumbers in brine

8

Thickening the soup is up to you. You can make a roux, zasmażka in Polish, from butter and flour. Fry a couple of tablespoons of butter in a frying pan, add a tablespoon of flour and fry until the raw flour taste dissipates. Mix that with some broth and then stir it into the soup. You can also use a cooked potato or two from the soup. Remove, mash with a fork, add back to the soup.

9

Add dill and chives and some pepper. If you didn't use any meat at all, add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil, or one of each.

10

Give your soup a taste. If it isn't "pickley" enough, add in some brine by half a cup at a time (being aware that your soup may be cooking down a bit). Wait and taste, add more brine, and wait and taste until you get the level of pickle taste you want to achieve. At this point, you won't need to add any salt at all due to the brine. If for some reason, it suddenly seems to get too salty, add some water.

11

That's all there is to it. Ladle the Polish Pickle Soup into a soup bowl and add a dollop of cream on top.

Enjoy! Smacznego to you!

Ingredients

Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa)
 2 carrots
 5 potatoes
 1 small celeriac or parsely root
 6 large pickles (in brine, reserve brine)
 1-2 bay leaves
 1-2 whole allspice berries
 dill and chives
 sour cream (to dollop on top)
 2 l water or broth (chicken or vegetable) (2 liters is about 8 cups)
 a few chicken legs, thighs or wings, or leftover chicken
 butter or olive oil

Directions

How to make Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa)
1

Polish Pickle Soup can be made with or without meat.

2

Peel and chop carrots, parsley root or celeriac, and potatoes. Put water or broth (or a mix of the two) on to boil in a large pot. Begin cooking vegetables and add bay leaves and allspice.

3

This soup isn't going to be clear like Polish chicken soup (Rosół) so don't worry about bringing the soup to a boil. It can boil, no worries.

4

If you are using leftover chicken, add the meat to the broth.

5

If you have raw chicken in small legs or wings, it can be cooked along with the vegetables. Then remove, separate meat, and add back to the pot.

6

If your pieces of chicken are larger, cook the veggies, remove from the pot, then cook the chicken in the pot. Remove the chicken and separate the meat. Add all the meat and veggies back into the pot.

7

Grate, chop, or slice the pickles and add them to the soup. Reserve the brine.

A supermarket shelf with bags of cucumbers in brine

8

Thickening the soup is up to you. You can make a roux, zasmażka in Polish, from butter and flour. Fry a couple of tablespoons of butter in a frying pan, add a tablespoon of flour and fry until the raw flour taste dissipates. Mix that with some broth and then stir it into the soup. You can also use a cooked potato or two from the soup. Remove, mash with a fork, add back to the soup.

9

Add dill and chives and some pepper. If you didn't use any meat at all, add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil, or one of each.

10

Give your soup a taste. If it isn't "pickley" enough, add in some brine by half a cup at a time (being aware that your soup may be cooking down a bit). Wait and taste, add more brine, and wait and taste until you get the level of pickle taste you want to achieve. At this point, you won't need to add any salt at all due to the brine. If for some reason, it suddenly seems to get too salty, add some water.

11

That's all there is to it. Ladle the Polish Pickle Soup into a soup bowl and add a dollop of cream on top.

Enjoy! Smacznego to you!

Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa)

4 Comments

  • Reply
    MuTru
    April 22, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Will try it, but minor note: pickles aren’t “fermented in brine.” Brine is too acidic to support the microorganisms needed for fermentation.

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 22, 2021 at 5:46 pm

      I hope you enjoy it. Pickle soup seemed weird to me at first, but it’s my favorite soup now.

      Fermentation in brine is technically lacto-fermentation, but I think most folks just call it fermentation. Lactobacillus can survive the salt water solution. Do you know of another way of describing it? If not fermented, preserved, brined?

  • Reply
    Kathy
    September 7, 2021 at 11:58 am

    I’m too lazy to cook it with meat, so I just use stock cubes, but this is definitely one of my favorite soups! So easy to make, and if you mash some of the potatoes (or just let them fall apart), it makes a hearty meal.

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 13, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      I agree with you. If I don’t have meat, I just use more pickle juice. Sometimes, I use leftover meat from the night before, and potatoes are a must!

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