Polish barley soup, krupnik (KRROOP-neek), is one of the most popular soups in the cuisine. It is made in seemingly unlimited varieties. Jewish versions are often vegetarian, as in this recipe, and others are based on beef or chicken stock and include bacon or spare ribs for added flavor. The common denominator is the use of barley or buckwheat groats, but the vegetables can range from cabbage to celeriac to leeks.
What I have done here is to use the whey, which is the liquid byproduct of my twaróg cheesemaking, instead of stock. Twaróg is a fresh, unaged dry curd cheese like farmer's cheese and quark.
Krupnik soup is not to be confused with krupnik the drink, a potent concoction made from a caramel or simple syrup with spices which can include cinnamon, allspice, peppercorns and aniseed. The cooled caramel or simple syrup is reheated with honey and vodka or eau de vie. It can be served warm or cold. Here is a recipe for the honey-spiced vodka known as krupnik.
- 1 ounce Polish borowiki mushrooms (dried)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions (chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- 10 cups whey (or chicken, beef or vegetable broth or water)
- 1 cup rinsed pearl barley
- 4 peeled medium carrots (sliced into 1/2-inch rounds)
- 4 peeled medium potatoes (diced)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons Vegeta seasoning
- Pepper (to taste)
- Place dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let soak while you continue with the rest of the recipe.
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add parsley, whey or broth, drained barley, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, Vegeta and pepper. Lift mushrooms from soaking liquid being careful not to pick up the grit with the mushrooms. Slice mushrooms and add to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until barley is tender.
- If desired, the carefully strained mushroom-soaking liquid can be added to the soup. Otherwise save it to make a delicious mushroom sauce, adding fresh, sautéed mushrooms. Serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream if you like and a hearty bread of choice.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||5 g|
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||3 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|