Polish pickle soup is similar to pickle-based soups that can be found across the Slavic world. In Russia, for instance, soups like solyanka and rassolnik are popular. Solyanka, however, prides itself on stuffing as much and as many kinds of meat into the soup as possible. Rassolnik is much more similar to Polish pickle soup with the main difference being that rassolnik will almost always contain barley as an ingredient while Polish pickle soup does not. Thus, the Polish version can be confidently said to be one of the simplest variants of the Slavic pickle soup family.
Why is it called that?
(Dlaczego są tak nazwane?)
“Zupa ogorkowa” [pronounced zoopa ogurkova], or cucumber soup, is a traditional and popular Polish soup. “Zupa” means soup in Polish, and “ogorkowa” is the adjectival form of “ogórek,” which means “cucumber.” The soup is named after the soup’s main ingredient: “kiszone ogorki,” or pickled cucumbers.
When Do Poles Eat Pickle Soup?
(Kiedy Polacy jedzą zupę ogorkową?)
Traditional Polish meals always begin with a starter, soup being one of the most common. So, pickle soup would be served before the main course of the meal.
This is a “leftovers” soup for when hard and pickled goods need to be used up in the house: the broth is traditionally made from left-over meat bones, and the other ingredients — potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, pickled cucumbers and dill — can be stored to last quite some time.
Like many Slavic soups, pickle soup is usually served with a side of sour cream, kefir, or plain yogurt that can be added to the soup to make it richer and creamer (as is also typical with barszcz czerwony – red borscht).
How Do You Properly Cook Pickle Soup?
(Jak odpowiednio ugotować zupę ogorkową?)
As long as you follow the directions, this is a really easy and quick soup to cook. If making it with meat bones, make sure to boil the meat bones to create a base broth (I am sure a vegetable broth would work well too). If no old meat bones are to be had, just use some fried bacon or, really, any other type of meat to create a base broth.
See below for a free recipe for “paczki.” See also the free videos online. If you are interested in cooking from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, and other places in Eurasia, make sure to see see our other resources! You might also be interested in the following specialized cookbooks we’ve enjoyed:
|Zupa Ogorkowa||Polish Pickle Soup|
Our Favorite Polish Pickle Soup Videos
This video, in English by a Polish woman, shows step-by-step how to make pickle soup.
This video, in fairly slow, clear Polish, also shows and names each ingredient and step in the process.
This video shows two poles making the soup together and conversing in Polish while they do so.
You Might Also Like
Milk Bars: Warsaw’s Proletarian Food Culture
This is a quick introduction to Warsaw’s milk bars, which are important cultural institutions as well as great places to eat, and to the Polish food they offer and the Polish language needed to order in them. While English-speaking eating establishments can be found, they will typically be more expensive and less of an important […]
Polish Holidays 2023: A Complete Guide
Polish holidays are heavily steeped in Catholic tradtion. They all have a distinctly Polish flair to them, however, in their foods, colors, and celebrations. Note that in Poland nearly everything closes for public holidays! Everyone will be celebrating! Find out more about Polish holidays, their history, cultural significance, and related days off below. Days Off […]
Study Abroad and the Identity of American Students of Russian
Many American students of the Russian language take part in study abroad programs in such Russian-speaking countries such as Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, and Lithuania, to name a few. Kinginger (2009, p. 11) defines study abroad as “a temporary sojourn of pre-defined duration, undertaken for educational purposes.” After entering a new country and culture, these […]
The Talking Polish Phrasebook
The Talking Phrasebook Series presents useful phrases and words in side-by-side translation and with audio files specifically geared to help students work on listening skills and pronunciation. Each entry below, divided by category, features an English word or phrase in the left column and its Polish translation in the right. In the center column for […]
Medovukha: The King of Slavic Honey Drinks
Medovukha (медовуха) is a Slavic honey-based alcoholic beverage. It is one of the most recent and perhaps the best known iteration of a long evolutionary tree of Russian honey-based beverages that can be traced all the way back to the Old Slavs. In Russia today, some argue that a return to these honey drinks, which […]