Wednesday, January 26, 2011

International Week -- Polish Dill Pickle Soup

One of my dearest friends in the world, Connie, is 100% Polish; she's also married to a man who's 100% Polish. They are some fabulous cooks, and make a kielbasa that is a true work of art and a most generous gift some years at Easter. (There are too many demands and insufficient quantity to feed all of the ravenous hordes, so I have resigned myself to not being on the "in" list every year ... alas!)

Anyway, Connie is a great cook, as I've already said. So when I went to a horrendously bad Polish restaurant last year, where the one and only redeeming food was the dill pickle soup (don't even ask how leaden and flavorless the blintzes were ... with a filling made from canned mushrooms!), I asked Connie if she would share her recipe with me. (She did; here's the post from And that's her son Andrew, one of Jeremy's best friends, doing the "bunny ears," fyi.)

Connie's soup is very easy to make, and it is some seriously astounding comfort food. But the soup at the restaurant had some flecks of carrot, potatoes, and dill, which Connie's lacked.

So I tinkered a bit by using the original recipe as a base but then adding the other ingredients. It's still Connie's soup, in my opinion, just with a bit more stuff in it.

And it was truly, wonderfully, amazingly delicious!

It may sound odd to pour in juice from a pickle jar, but why use plain ol' water when you can add some depth of flavor? Connie's late mother-in-law used to add a bit of vinegar in her version of this Polish classic; but there's an entire jar full of brine just waiting to find a purpose other than swimming around cucumbers! Do it Connie's way, which she learned from her own mother, whom we call Busha ([BOO-shuh] = grandmother). Busha is in her late 90s now ... the woman knows a thing or two!

Polish Dill Pickle Soup

1 pound pre-cooked kielbasa
1 cup water + water to cover kielbasa
1 tablespoon bacon fat or butter
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup juice from a jar of dill pickles, preferably Polish
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium potato, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chopped dill pickles
1 teaspoon dried dill
slices of caraway rye bread, toasted and buttered, because as Connie puts it: “Of course, you have to have a good rye bread to go along with it.”

Place the kielbasa into a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 1/2 hour. Remove the kielbasa from the saucepan saving the liquid, and slice to desired thickness.

Heat the bacon fat in a small skillet and saute the onion just until translucent. Add to the reserved cooking liquid.

Add the 1 cup of water, the pickle juice, salt and pepper to the saucepan with the onion. Bring to a boil, then add the potatoes and carrot; cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

Combine the sour cream and the flour in a medium bowl, then slowly stir in 1/2 cup of the broth until smooth

Whisk this mixture back into the saucepan, bring just to a boil (small bubbles around the edge of the soup), then remove from heat.

Stir in the chopped pickles, the kielbasa and the dill. Serve hot, with the toasted rye on the side.

Makes 4 generous servings.

Its Hump Day!


Miriam said...

Dill pickle soup eh? I wonder if I can figure out a vegetarian version of it...we'll see. Looks great! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

TexaGermaFinlaNadian said...

Holy cow, have I never heard of this before?!? It looks amazing! I know everyone probably says this, but I really do want to try this one.
I love anything with dill pickles, especially fried pickles. But then again, I am from Texas, we fry about anything...and it is delicious.

Unknown said...

I love dill pickles, but in a soup? I'm not sure, but the ingredients sound like they would make a pretty tasty soup. I will definitely try it and see.

Andria said...

This sounds SO GOOD! Sodium would be through the roof, but I'm willing to risk it :) Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Ok... this is something I have never heard of before.....but I'm very intrigued. I think it sounds really good! I will definitely be trying this one! Thanks to Connie for sharing the recipe with you!!

Cranberry Morning said...

That photo looks delicious, Mary! Who would've thought, dill pickles in soup! I hope you'll also talk Connie out of her real caraway rye bread. I really want an 'old country' rye bread recipe.

I'm going to have to try out this soup on Kevin. The last new recipe I tried on him, he responded with, 'It's very filling,' which I thought was a really creative euphemism. :-)

Karen Harris said...

I'm so intrigued by this recipe. It sounds really good in this pickle lover's humble opinion.

247mama said...

Sounds yum! I'm over from the blog hop! Come see me at

Miz Helen said...

I can't wait to try this soup, we are going to love it. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. You have a great week!

Unknown said...

This sounds really interesting! My husband LOVES pickles...I'm going to have to make this for him!

I came by from WOB Wednesdays:)

Team Chastain said...

I'm a pickle maniac! This has got my mouth watering!! I'm going to give this a go, maybe minus the potato and bread, this weekend for sure! Do you think it would ruin it to subtract those items? Should I maybe incorporate something else, with a lower carb count in their place?


Candace said...

I have never ever heard of this but it looks so good. I want some!

Money Saving Momma said...

I am sooo gonna try this!! I found you on today's welcome wed hop! Happy to be a new follower!

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Hmmmm I might have to save this recipe for my pickle cravings

<3, New Follower

Farmgirl Susan said...

This sounds really good! Bookmarking now. :)

Judy said...

Just made this and it is fantastic! Can't wait to have some leftovers tomorrow for lunch too! Thanks for the great recipe!

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