Lena’s Polish Gherkin Soup / Zupa ogorkowa

Lena's Gherkin Soup
What, you say? A Gherkin soup? Never heard of it and don’t want it. Stop right there. It is SUPERB to say the very least. Lena and Dieter are deevine campervan friends and she made this for us 2 years ago and today and it was as great today as it was 2 years ago.

The trick to this superb meal is the right gherkins. You must use Salt Gherkins, so gherkins that have been preserved in salted water (brine), rather than pickled. I tried one of these brined gherkins on its own and it was not quite to my liking, but in the soup, magnificent. This is a traditional Polish recipe and once tried, you’ll want to visit a Polish family immediately.

I had actually never heard of gherkins preserved in brine as opposed to pickled gherkins, but have since found them in various shops (albeit all of them in Germany). Lena says that they only use this type of gherkin in the soup, so please do try to find these rather than pickled ones, but if you can’t then do what you have to do!

We met Lena and Dieter in Spain in 2013 (see my post http://www.acookonthefunnyside.com/content/salobrena-spain ) and I am ashamed not to have posted about them more often as they are soooooooo nice. Will just have to catch up in the next week. You can also check out their travel blog https://ledima.wordpress.com/

But without further ado, here is Lena’s Polish (Salt) Gherkin Soup.
Lena's Gherkin Soup
Zupa ogorkowa

4 potatoes, small cubes
1lt water or vegetable stock
4 allspice berries, 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf *(see note below)
4 Salt Gherkins, grated
100ml cream
1 tsp dried OR 1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp flour mixed to a paste with water, optional
Gherkin juice, to taste, optional

(Note: If you are using stock, you don’t necessarily have to use the added spices, but they certainly add flavour)
1. Cook the potatoes in the water or stock and spices (if using) till done, then add the gherkins to heat through. Add more water if you like – you want it to be a soup not a stew.
2. Add the cream and dill. If you would like it a bit thicker, then add the flour paste. You can add more or less according to taste.
3. Same goes for the gherkin juice. Have a taste and if you think it could do with a little more “sour”, add a bit of juice and try again. But this is entirely up to you.
Lena says you could also add some chopped carrot with the potatoes if you like, or even saute a couple of onions at the beginning before adding the potatoes. You can use less potatoes if you would prefer a lighter soup maybe as a starter, but we prefer a few more potatoes than a few less.

And that’s it! Simple yet deelicious. Go on, give it a try!

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