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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Would You Try Polish Potato Pickle Soup?

Here is what I'm dying to cook. I can't (due to overabundance of food from Frugal Son that needs to be used up). It sounds so interesting, plus this particular version is courtesy of my favorite food writer John Thorne. Does it sound good to you? I am of 100% East European descent, so that perhaps accounts for my inexplicable yearning.

4 large Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes (skins intact)
1 large carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 sprigs fresh dill (leaves only), chopped
4 half-sour pickles, chopped
1 cup pickling liquid from the jar of half-sours
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a pot just large enough to accommodate them in a single layer, fit the potatoes and carrots. Add enough cold water to just cover them. Bring to a boil, cover with the lid, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a skewer.

2. In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the scallions, garlic, and mustard seeds. Cook gently, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not colored.

3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to the scallion mixture; set aside.

4. Remove the potatoes from their cooking liquid (set the liquid aside). When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slip off their skins. Quarter the potatoes and return them to the potato water. Sprinkle with dill. With the edge of a wooden spoon, chop and mash the potatoes. There should be lots of potato chunks, none very large.

5. Tip the potato mixture into the carrot mixture. Add the pickles and pickling liquid. Bring to a simmer, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

6. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add a little more pickling liquid, or milk or water. Taste for seasoning, add salt and plenty of pepper. - Adapted from John Thorne

P.S. I love how the recipe uses part of the pickle liquid!

This book by Thorne was my first read after I turned in grades for teh semester. Pure bliss!


Gauss said...

I've made a similar soup (vegetables, chopped pickles) from the "Love Soup" book - it's amazing! Go for it. I love sour soups, also due to my Eastern European heritage, and this looks like a good recipe.

Shelley said...

Hmmm. My Mom (a southerner with Irish heritage) used to put a little pickle relish and some mustard into her potato salad (with boiled eggs and mayo). I hated the sound of those items, but loved her salad, so I've kept up with that recipe. Not sure I have the nerve to try sour pickle soup, mind! Will have to discuss with Bill...I hate throwing food away.

Duchesse said...

Like Shelley's, my mother added a little dill relish (not sweet) and mustard to potato salad. Sometimes the 'odd' ingredient really picks up a recipe. And sometimes it's just...weird.

Eager to hear how you like it. (I love borscht, do you make it?)

Frugal Scholar said...

@All--Thanks for the encouragement. I'm getting close to using up some of the overstock in the fridge...

tess said...

making my way through your archives, my mom's homemade pickle juice is the secret ingredient in making barszcz, livens things up, much like lemon juice, more complex though

her secret ingredient for homemade pickles is a slice or rye bread with caraway seeds added to the brine, garlic, dill mixture