Polish Cucumber Soup – Zupa ogórkowa
“Życie duchowe zupy ogórkowej wielkie jest” [Big Cyc]
‘The spiritual life of cucumber soup is great”
No, I don’t want to discuss the quotation given above in my post, neither the music nor the sense of the lyrics 😉 However, you can watch the video of this Polish, a bit controversial maybe but sensible to politics and absurdity of life, band Big Cyc or visit their home page (unfortunately only in Polish) and comment on that of course below.
I found it, however, noteworthy, that cucumber soup or rather its spiritual life 😉 was noticed by the Polish musicians, as well as the main produce: sour cucumbers by the writers. It shows how important the cucumbers are in our culture 😀 especially ogórki kiszone (dill pickled cucumbers), those ones called as well, salt brined cucumbers, not pickled in vinegar – for the latter ones we have a name: korniszony (cornichons).
Below, I couldn’t stop myself from presenting a piece of the favourite and loved in Poland series of the teenage books written by Małgorzata Musierowicz. The series is thought for girls. However, whoever, in whatever age is reading it has a lot of fun and good laugh. It is pity it was not translated into English but probably you need to live in the Polish similar reality to grasp it well. Give it a try.
“Bobcio jadł ze smakiem.
– Jak duży jest krasnoludek? – spytał znienacka. – Jak bakteria?
– Trochę większy – odparła ciocia Wiesia. – A bo co?
– A jak duża jest bakteria?
– Jest troche mniejsza od krasnoludka – wyjaśnił Żaczek. – A bo co?
– Bo coś tu mam na talerzu.
– To na pewno witamina – rzekł Żaczek.
– Nie, to pieprz – odezwał się dziadek
Znękana Cesia mogłaby się założyć o milion, że wie, jakie będzie następne pytanie.
– Czy pieprz ma witaminy? – spytał Bobcio
– Masy. Masy – uspokoił go Żaczek
– A po co Bóg stworzył bakterie?
Zapadła chwila niezręcznej ciszy.
– Już on tam wiedział, po co – uratował sytuację dziadek.
– Nowakowski mówił, że Bóg stworzył dobre bakterie, żeby kisiły ogórki”
[Szósta Klepka, Małgorzata Musierowicz]
“Bobcio (6 years old boy) was eating with relish.
– How big is a dwarf? – He asked suddenly. – Like a bacterium?
– A little bigger – aunt Wiesia said. – And what for?
– And how big is a bacterium?
– It is a little smaller than the dwarf – Zaczek said. – And what for?
– Because I have something here on the plate.
– This is definitely a vitamin – Zaczek said.
– No, it’s a black pepper – said the grandfather.
Anguished Cesia could bet a million, she knows what will be the next question.
– Has the pepper got vitamins? – Asked Bobcio.
– Masses. Masses – calmed him Zaczek
– And what God created bacteria for?
There was a moment of awkward silence.
– He already knew what for – the grandfather had saved the situation.
– Nowakowski says that God created the good bacteria to pickle cucumbers”
[Sixth Sense, Małgorzata Musierowicz, my free translation]
… and to cook, among others, cucumber soup later on 😀
Polish Cucumber Soup – Zupa ogórkowa
2,5 litre of water
some meat (chicken, rabbit, pork ribs, beef) – you can go for a vegetarian version too
2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped in cubes or semi circles
1 medium parsley root (or flat leaf parsley), peeled, cut in cubes
1 small piece of the celeriac or 1 stalk of celery, peeled, cut in cubes
1 onion, halved, one half baked on the flame, second half chopped
3 medium potatoes, cut in cubes
3-4 dill pickled cucumbers (ca. 300g), grated
liquid or juice from the pickled cucumbers
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 garlic clove, chopped very finely
2-4 Tablespoons of dill, finely chopped
sour cream or milk (*optional), I like without
salt, black pepper
- Cover meat with the cold water and bring to the boil, cook on the small-medium heat, gather the foam
- Add salt and black pepper, add less salt since pickled cucumbers are salty too. 1 teaspoon of salt at the beginning is enough.
- Add carrots, parsley, celeriac, onion and potatoes (if your potatoes are cooking faster than vegetables, then cook a little the vegetables and then add the potatoes)
- Melt the butter in the frying pan and fried a bit the grated cucumbers to soften their skin. You can omit this step if your cucumber peel is soft
- When the vegetables are cooked, add the cucumbers, cook a little to mix the flavours, ca. 5 minutes
- Taste and add the pickled cucumber juice (if not sour enough), salt and black pepper to your liking
- Add dill and clove of garlic and cook one more minute
- Add milk or sour cream (to add sour cream take out ½ cup of the soup, mix with the sour cream and return to the pot, don’t cook anymore). If the soup seems too sour, you can add as well sweet cream (18%).
I hope to take better photo next time and replace it 🙂