Polish Zurek Sour Soup Recipe
Zurek is a traditional soup that is sure to be found on holiday tables in Poland. The recipes used to make it vary with the region of the country. But all are based on a sour made from rye flour.
For The Sour
Essentially it is a soup made from a sour dough starter. So if you like zurek, you make one starter and keep it in the refrigerator to be used whenever you want.
The basic soup is the sour base thinned with vegetable stock. To this basic soup are added, depending on the region, and your personal tastes, white kielbasa, halved hard boiled eggs, ribs, bacon, carrots, and anything else you think you might like to try.
To make the basic soup, combine one cup of the sour with two to three cups of vegetable stock. Because the sour may vary in thickness, vary the amount of vegetable stock to make your soup as thin or thick as you wish.
Here is a recipe for a sour. It takes about four days to be ready to use.
In a plastic container combine one cup of rye flour, one or two garlic cloves, a piece of whole wheat bread or rye bread (stale bread is fine) and 2 cups of warm water. Mix, cover with a cloth and put in a warm place.
Over about four days the mixture picks up natural yeasts from the air and starts to ferment. It gets sour. The cloth serves to allow yeasts to reach the mixture and to keep out any flying intruders.
Note that if you want to make zurek often, it can be rather tedious having to prepare four days in advance. So just make a sour, put some into a separate plastic container and keep this sour starter in your refrigerator. (See our video on making and feeding a sour starter.) When you want zurek, feed the starter to make as much base as you need. (See our video on making zurek from a sour starter.)
To make the soup, precook those things you want to add. You will add them shortly before serving time.
Combine your sour and stock. Heat it. Just before serving add your kiebasa, ribs, etc. As a notable exception, add the hard cooked eggs at the very last minute before putting the soup on the table.
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