45 minutes
8
This is my version of a Polish classic: Zupa Ogórkowa, or Dill Pickle Soup. It's a hearty potato soup with parsnips and carrots, enriched with sour cream and a double handful of finely chopped dill pickles. It's so satisfying!
  • 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 leek, trimmed & rinsed
  • 2 carrots, trimmed & peeled
  • 1 parsnip, trimmed & peeled
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed
  • 1 onion, trimmed, outer layer removed
  • 2 whole allspice berries
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced dill pickles
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Dill pickle soup is built in stages. First, you’ll make sure your stock is well flavored and enriched with vegetables. Then you’ll cook potatoes in the strained stock, add back some of the veggies and a bunch of chopped dill pickles. And finally you’ll thicken the soup a bit with a sour cream/flour mixture to make it creamy and delicious.

 

preparation: stock, pickles, thickener

If you’re starting with store-bought stock, add some chicken bones – perhaps the carcass of a rotisserie chicken – to the pot. If you have well-flavored homemade stock, don’t worry about adding any bones, just continue with veggies.

Put stock, (bones if using), leek, carrots, parsnip, celery, onion, and allspice in a large pot. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer 30-40 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, chop the dill pickles finely. In a 4-cup measuring cup or similar sized bowl, whisk the sour cream and flour together until completely smooth. Set both of these aside for now.

cook potatoes in the stock

Strain the stock, reserving the carrots and parsnip. Discard the other vegetables (and bones if you used any) and return the stock to the pot. Add the potatoes and garlic, and cook 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, grate the reserved carrots and parsnip, or chop them very finely. When the potatoes are fork-tender, return the grated carrots and parsnip to the pot, and then add the chopped dill pickles, dried dill weed, and pickle juice. Continue simmering the soup; keep it just under a boil.

thicken the soup

Temper the flour/sour cream mixture: slowly add 1 cup of the hot broth from the pot to the bowl of  flour/sour cream, stirring constantly. Whisk this until it’s smooth and creamy, adding stock as needed. When it’s completely smooth, add all this back to the pot, and stir until well combined. Keep the soup at a simmer, and do not let it boil. Simmer 5-10 more minutes to thicken the soup a bit.

adjust flavors and serve

Taste the soup, and adjust seasonings. Dill pickle soup may need more salt or none at all, depending on the saltiness of the pickles you used. A bit of pepper, hot paprika, or even cayenne, may bring out the flavors for you.

 

 

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