The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Polish Zurek Soup

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

This is a dish that stayed with me way after I returned from Poland, so much so that I had to make it. An unusual flavoured soup: sour, warm and with a kick of horseradish.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE ZAKWAS:
  • 5 Tablespoons Rye Flour
  • 700 milliliters Tepid Water
  • 5 whole Allspice Berries
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • FOR THE SOUP:
  • 1 whole Parsnip
  • 1 whole Carrot
  • 1-½ whole Large Onion, Divided
  • 1-½ liter Water
  • 5 whole Allspice Berries
  • 5 whole Peppercorns
  • 2 whole Bay Leaves
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 250 grams White Sausages (Polish White Kielbasa Or White Bratwurst)
  • 4 slices Streaky Bacon
  • 1 teaspoon Marjoram
  • 2 Tablespoons Horseradish
  • 1 whole Egg, Boiled And Quartered

Preparation

For the zakwas (make 5 days ahead):
Combine rye flour, tepid water, allspice berries and garlic cloves in a jar and stir well. Cover with a tea towel, paper towel or paper napkin secured with an elastic band. Leave in a warm place, such as a windowsill. Stir the mixture each day.

After 5 days, your Zakwas is ready. I actually left mine for 6 days to strengthen the flavour.

For the soup:
First make the vegetable stock. Peel and chop the parsnip and carrot and peel and quarter 1 onion. Place in a large pan with the water, allspice berries, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic cloves and bring to the boil. Salt the liquid well and boil lightly for around 1 hour. The liquid reduce by half.

Strain the broth into another large pan. Press down on the vegetables while you do to get all the flavour out of them. Place the pan over a low heat.

Towards the end of the cooking time for the stock, slice the sausages. Dice the remaining onion and slice the bacon. Add diced onion to a frying pan over a medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add the sausage meat and bacon and fry for another 8–10 minutes, making sure that nothing burns.

Remove the sausage, onion and bacon from the pan. If the mixture is particularly oily (from the sausage juices), place on a plate on some kitchen towel for a couple of minutes.

Add sausage, bacon and onion to the drained stock. Add marjoram and horseradish. Add 1 cup (250ml) of the zakwas mixture. Stir well and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes.

Serve in bowls with 2 egg quarters on top. If desired, you can also serve with bread and a dollop of sour cream on top.

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