Zurek - Polish soup

Sometimes called the ‘yesterday’s menu soup’, zurek is a dish that has been enjoyed by many generations of Poles.

Zurek brings back to life the alimentary canal after last night’s abuse caused by liquor”, jokes Grzegorz Kazubski, Master Chef at the Orbis Hotels Group.

There are as many recipes for cooking zurek as there are regions of Poland. It is made differently in Krakow (with vegetables) than in Kielce, Podlasie, Namyslow and elsewhere. The one essential, common ingredient is the leaven made of fermented rye flour with a piece of whole-meal bread crust.

The Lenten Zurek is a very plain soup, served with a minimum of basic ingredients. When fasting is done, zurek becomes a rich soup generously supplemented with cook’s special reserves of sausage, spare ribs, bacon cracklings or a hard-boiled egg. For cooking the original zurek à la Mazovia, Grzegorz Kazubski uses his mother’s recipe. He also adds horse-radish, sour cream, a few cloves of garlic, finely cut mushroom, sliced white sausage. Seasoned with marjoram it becomes a delicious, lightly sour soup.

Zurek recipe

Ingredients: 100 g of whole-wheat rye flour, 250 g of carrot, leak, celeriac and parsley, 200 g of white sausage, water, salt, flour, garlic, marjoram. Allow the flour to sour in the water for a few days. Cook a stock from mixed vegetables, strain, add sour flour liquid (zur), spice with flour, bring to boil, add salt. Add white sausage cut into small pieces, spice with garlic or marjoram. Serve with hard boiled eggs cut into halves.