polish easter soup for the intrepid

My grandma’s Easter soup is one of the only things I like about Easter.  The recycler in me loves the very concept of this soup, described most scornfully by a hater here.  (To whom I say: you should have had my great-grandma’s potato-ketchup soup if you want to thumb your nose at poverty cooking, yo.) Polish Easter Soup, also called zhurek or white borsch, utilizes the broth made by cooking the Easter kielbasa, leftover ham and sausage, a few dried mushrooms, leftover hardboiled eggs, whey that was probably hanging around as a by-product of Farmer cheese-making (there’s your answer, Polish Easter Soup-hater!), and the leftover liquid from a rye sourdough starter.  The soup is thickened with sour cream blended with a bit of flour.

11014841_10152828734278230_7563633823902217549_nMy grandma’s recipe

I’ve always liked it in its simplest form, but this year I tried to bump up the flavor with Sweet Briar Farms spicy beer sausage (since I couldn’t find natural kielbasa), Russian fingerling potatoes, and fresh maitake mushrooms sauteed with bacon and the aforementioned beer sausage.  I used a Guatemalan crema for the sour cream, and added some Tule Lake fresh horseradish and a splash of vinegar to balance the flavors.  The hardboiled egg garnish was greenified by some garden chives, and each bowl of soup contained a dollop of additional horseradish.

But if this doesn’t sound like your thing, I hope you hunted up some raw, fresh Easter Egg radishes as beautiful as these.

8 thoughts on “polish easter soup for the intrepid

  1. brandon 8 April 2010 / 1:18 pm

    I agree with the soup lady


  2. Linda 11 August 2010 / 2:56 pm

    We use vinegar too, but no cream of any sort, nor do we use potatoes or mushrooms.

    Everyone in my family loves easter soup and my husband has grown to like it over the years. All others hate it like poison.


  3. steve 23 April 2011 / 6:03 pm

    People either love it or hate it. I’m in the love-it category. Simmmering my kielbasa now as we type and getting it ready for the Easter soup tomorrow. You know a true foodie when they’re online looking up food when they’re not in the kitchen cooking it. LOL.


  4. Tami Scott 24 January 2013 / 3:15 pm

    My Polish Grandmother, whom raised me, made this soup every Easter, All I can say, is the Polish makes wonderful food, food that doesnt even in todays prices cost a lot. Step out and enjoy the flavors that came from a time when there was very little to eat, and the ways they mixed the foods will delight you…Peace Tami


  5. Gigi 28 May 2016 / 3:01 am

    My grandmother came from what is today southeastern Poland. Here is how we made/make our Easter soup. The broth is made from water, a pinch of salt and a generous splash of white vinegar. Put pieces of dark German rye in the bottom of your bowl. Add slices of kielbasa and hard cooked eggs and pour in the broth. Garnish with scrapings of fresh horseradish. (My kids won’t eat this; they call it garbage soup!)

    Although Gram’s mother was Polish, her father was Austrian and their recipes had a definite Germanic influence.


  6. James Mrdutt 11 October 2016 / 8:53 am

    Where is the instructions of the full recipe??


  7. Morena 4 April 2019 / 5:24 pm

    This was also my favorite part of Easter too! My grandfather always made the best polish sausage for this. I still make it every year :-)


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