It’s fair to say that Rosół (pronounced: roh-soo) is the queen of Polish soups.
It takes up to 4 hours to make from scratch, but believe me – the payoff is great. No family dinner (or wedding reception for that matter) is complete without a tureen full of this hearty Polish-style chicken soup!
Rosół z Kurczaka is made by simmering chicken, vegetables and spices in water for a long period of time.
It’s usually served with fine egg noodles or kluski dumplings, chopped vegetables and often enriched by soft pieces of chicken meat. Garnish it with chopped parsley leaves and serve while warm.
Fun fact: there are many types of Rosół. The most popular, as I mentioned above, is based on chicken.
But there’s also: Rosół z Kury (based on hen), Rosół Królewski (“Royal Rosół”, based on 3 types of meat), Rosół Myśliwski (“Hunter’s Rosół”, based on game meat) and a number of delicious regional varieties.
My adventure with the Polish cuisine has barely started, but a chicken + veggie broth brews in my kitchen almost every week.
It’s more delicate in flavour than those based on heavier meats and therefore – it’s more versatile. I use it for everything:
- for serving as Rosół with noodles (my favourite recipe is at the bottom of this post),
- as a base for other soups and …
- as a base for aromatic, flavourful sauces (I freeze it in ice cube trays, so it’s available to use at any time).
How To Pick the Right Ingredients
Selecting the vegetables is pretty straight-forward. You’ll need some carrots, parsley and celery roots, an onion, a leek and a quarter of a savoy cabbage. As long as they’re fresh, you’re set!
In Poland, every grocery store offers a ready set of soup greens called Włoszczyzna, which includes the vegetables you’ll need for this recipe.
When it comes to chicken though, finding the right one really makes a difference. So whenever I can, I go for a free-range bird.
If you would like to reduce the cost a bit, buy the chicken thighs and/or legs instead. The end result will be richer & heavier, but just as tasty.
Herbs & Spices
Our Polish culinary celebrity Magda Gessler swears by using plenty of fresh lovage in Rosół. And I have to admit – she’s right! This herb really gives Rosół that extra oomph.
Lovage carries a sharp, celery-like aroma & flavour. It can be difficult to get in supermarkets, but is often available in farmers’ markets. I find that the dried leaves have a stronger “kick” than the fresh, so do be careful when substituting one for another.
Why Is My Chicken Soup So Cloudy?
There are a few reasons why your chicken broth has turned out cloudy.
The general rule is to never boil and stir it. When the broth comes to a full boil, the proteins break into tiny particles and the liquid is not clear anymore.
Whenever I have this issue myself, I follow this simple trick using egg whites. Try it, it will clarify your broth in no time!
P. S. Curious to learn more about Rosół? Learn the secrets of Polish broth here.
- 1 whole free-range chicken (or 1.5kg 3.3 lb chicken thighs)
- 6 carrots
- 6 parsley roots
- 1 celery root
- 1 medium onion
- 1 leek
- 1/4 savoy cabbage
- bunch of parsley
- bunch of lovage (or 2 tbsp of dried lovage)
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 5 dried cloves
- 5 bay leaves
- 5 allspice seeds
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley for garnish
- Wash the vegetables, peel them. Set onion aside, chop the rest of vegetables roughly.
- Take whole onion and roast it directly on the flame.
- If you're using a whole chicken, cut it up.
- Place the meat and vegetables into a large pot (without fresh lovage and parsley leaves).
- Cover the ingredients with filtered water. Don't pour too much though! Just enough for everything to be covered.
- Season, but don't use salt at this stage.
- Set it on lowest possible heat for 3 hours. It has to simmer lightly and never boil. Check on the pot from time to time, but avoid stirring.
- After that time, add roughly chopped lovage and parsley leaves.
- Cook for another 30 minutes, up to 1 hour - again: at the lowest possible heat.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the broth.
- If the broth is not clear, chill it until completely cold. Add 2 egg whites and start heating the broth up slowly, stirring continuously. Strain through a gauze.
- Serve rosół with chopped vegetables, fine egg noodles, kluski dumplings and (optionally) some chicken meat. garnish with chopped parsley leaves.
- This recipe is an adapted version of the recipe by Magda Gessler. The original calls for 500g /1 lb beef flat rib/ thin flank, which I have skipped. Also, I have replaced hen meat with chicken.
- You can freeze the excess broth for a later use.
- Use the leftover meat as a filling for other dishes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 255mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 49g
These numbers are without any add-ons, such as noodles or dumplings.
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