Zupa Ogórkowa: Polish Creamy Dill Pickle Soup

Zupa Ogórkowa (Polish Creamy Dill Pickle Soup) in a bowl

The Spruce / Barbara Rolek

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
354 Calories
12g Fat
56g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 354
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 2259mg 98%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 23mg 113%
Calcium 127mg 10%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 1274mg 27%
*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 creamy dill pickle soup or zupa ogórkowa (ZOO-pah oh-goorr-KOH-vah) is the winter counterpart to the summer offering of cold cucumber soup.

In Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, pickling was a common way of preserving fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs before refrigeration became widespread. The soup's base of pickled baby cucumbers, (what we just call plain old pickles) in hot broth imakes for a truly delicious and simple soup.

Some versions of this pickle soup use a tomato or ketchup base, but this more widely known variation uses sour cream. If you substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock, it becomes completely vegetarian.

Incidentally, this soup has an interesting background. Eastern European hangover cures often center around salty foods, in order to replenish the salts lost through dehydration, which is a side effect of excessive drinking. This pickle soup is a good contender as is Russian rassolnik, or kidney-pickle soup.

Today, thanks to refrigeration and the availability of year-round produce, this soup can be enjoyed in winter or summer, but it is especially soothing in colder months. Garnish it with fresh chopped dill, and serve with crusty rye or pumpernickel bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced

  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

  • 4 large garlic dill pickles (about 3 cups chopped)

  • 2/3 cup pickle juice (or water)

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Sugar, to taste, optional

  • Chopped fresh dill, garnish

  • Hearty rye bread, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Melt butter in a large pot. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add broth, pickles, pickle juice, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. In a small bowl, blend flour with sour cream.​

  5. Temper the sour cream mixture by whisking in a little hot soup, so it does not curdle.

  6. Pour tempered sour cream back into the hot soup, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

  7. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and optional sugar.

  8. At this point, the soup can be left chunky or puréed to the velvety consistency of vichyssoise.

  9. Serve in heated bowls garnished with optional chopped fresh dill and accompanied by hearty rye bread.

Can You Freeze Dill Pickle Soup?

Sadly, because this soup contains sour cream, if you freeze it and reheat it, it won't fare so well. The soup will likely become grainy upon reheating. Instead, if you want to freeze the soup, set some of it aside before adding the sour cream, freeze that portion, and then add the sour cream upon reheating, following the steps in the recipe.

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