For years, I thought Dill Pickle Soup or zupa ogorkowa was unique to my family. My Polish grandfather said he learned to make it in the Russian army. We were a little skeptical, but it tasted so good, we didn't question its origin.
Lo and behold, dziadzia was telling the truth. The recipe exists in one form or another throughout Eastern Europe. Some use a sour cream base and others, like my clan, use ketchup or sweetened tomato sauce.
It's a hearty soup using that ever-present Eastern European vegetable -- the pickle -- that cries out for rye bread. The soup is even better the next day.
Makes about 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 6 cups meat or vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 pounds pork steak, trimmed of fat, bones reserved, meat cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 large dill pickles, chopped
- 2/3 cup liquid from pickles or water
- 6 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup ketchup or 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- Salt and black pepper
- Place stock in a 5- to 6-quart soup pot. Add pork, reserved bones, pickles and pickle juice. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until pork is barely tender when tested with a fork. Remove bones.
- Add potatoes and ketchup. Bring back to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Adjust seasonings.
- Ladle into warm bowls and serve with rye bread. The soup is hearty enough to be served as a main course.