Polish Pickle Soup - Zupa Ogórkowa

Gwizdaly polish pickle soup

Barbara Rolek

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
306 Calories
12g Fat
39g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 1591mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 16mg 79%
Calcium 156mg 12%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 1116mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Polish pickle soup or zupa ogórkowa (ZOO-pah aw-goorr-KAW-vah) is from the women of Gwizdały village. This village is one of the stops when touring the Mazowsze region of Poland with Poland Culinary Vacations. 

Gwizdały literally means "whistled," and, indeed, the small town boasts a whistle museum with specimens from all over the world. Here is another version of Polish pickle soup.

The soup is made with pickled baby cucumbers, what we call just plain pickles, in a chicken broth base with carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and sour cream and is the winter counterpart to summer's cold cucumber soup.

In Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, before refrigeration, pickling was a common way of preserving fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs, so pickled food shows up in a seemingly endless number of recipes.

Some versions of pickle soup use a tomato or ketchup base, but this more widely known variation is creamed.


  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and diced

  • 1 stalk celery, diced

  • 6 large dill pickles, grated

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Add potatoes, carrots, parsnip, and celery. Return to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender.

  2. Add pickles and any accumulated juices, and combine well.

  3. Temper the sour cream in a small heatproof bowl by adding a few ladles of hot soup and whisking constantly.

  4. Transfer the tempered sour cream back to the soup, and heat through until starting to simmer but do not boil or the sour cream will break.

  5. Serve hot in heated bowls with chopped fresh dill and slices of rye bread with caraway seeds.