Ogórkowa: Polish Dill Pickle Soup

Zupa Ogórkowa z Koperkiem

‘Ogórkowa’ is a delicious soup soured with grated dill pickles and pickle juice. 

The soup is full of aromas of dill, garlic and horseradish. All of these flavours are coming directly from sour cucumbers, slowly fermented in brine.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

Carrots, potatoes and parsley roots turn this Dill Pickle Soup into a hearty, comforting meal. Fresh cream balances the sour pickles perfectly. It’s a very Polish flavour, which may taste a bit exotic to the modern, western tastebuds. But if you enjoy sour dishes, you’ll love this soup.

For more flavours like this, try some of these recipes:

Do you need any special ingredients to make this Polish Dill Pickle Soup?

Most of the ingredients for this Dill Pickle Soup are easily available in any supermarket. 

All, but one: soured Polish-style dill pickles in brine, what we call ‘Kiszone’ (pronon.: kish-oneh). Make sure they’re fermented naturally, without any vinegar. That’s key, vinegar will spoil your soup.

Of course the best cukes are homemade! Here’s an easy recipe for Polish Dill Pickles.

🇵🇱 In Poland, ‘Kiszone’ pickles are sold everywhere where food is sold. But personally I recommend heading to a farmer’s market.

🌍 Internationally, ask at a Polish or an European Deli. When buying pickles in a jar, read the label carefully – we don’t want any vinegar in there.

What should you serve with this Dill Pickle Soup?

This Dill Pickle Soup is served as an appetizer/starter, before the main course. 

To make it more hearty and filling, this recipe includes potatoes. Some homecooks add rice or egg noodles instead.

Can you make this Polish Dill Pickle Soup another way?

You can cook ‘Ogórkowa’ on a different type of meat, for example on pork ribs or poultry (chicken, turkey, duck etc.)

You can also cook this Dill Pickle soup using a slow cooker / Crock-Pot:

  • Wash the vegetables, peel them, cut into chunks. If the meat is in a larger piece, cut it into chunks as well. Grate dill pickles and place everything in the pot. Add spices and pour in the water – but not as much as it’s mentioned in the recipe, it won’t evaporate.
  • Pour only as much water as you want to turn into soup. Cook for 6 hours on “High”. Add cream and garnish with dill before serving.

What diets is this Dill Pickle Soup suitable for?

The soup itself is gluten-free, just skip any additional noodles or dumplings.

If you skip the potatoes, Dill Pickle Soup will become suitable for a low-carb / ketogenic diet as well.

How long can you keep ‘Ogórkowa’ Soup in the fridge?

Once served, Dill Pickle Soup should be eaten within 3 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, refrigerate the soup in a container (with a lid!). You can keep leftovers of ‘Ogórkowa’ in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze this Dill Pickle Soup?

Yes you can! This ‘Ogórkowa’ Soup can be frozen, but remember to freeze it as soon as it cools.

Use a freezer-friendly bag or container with a lid. Remember to stick a label on, detailing the contents and the freezing date.

How do I reheat this Dill Pickle Soup?

From chilled: Pour the soup into a microwave-friendly container, cover loosely with a lid. Heat for 4 to 6 minutes until piping hot. 

Alternatively, pour the soup into a pot. Heat it up on the stove on a medium heat, until hot throughout (8 to 10 minutes is usually enough).

From frozen: Allow to thaw. Then reheat in a microwave – firstly covered, for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and continue microwaving for another 5 minutes until hot. 

You can also reheat ‘Ogórkowa’ on the stove. 10 minutes on a medium heat should be enough.

Smacznego!

Ogórkowa Polish dill pickle soup
Ogórkowa Polish dill pickle soup

Ogórkowa: Polish Dill Pickle Soup on Veal

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

‘Ogórkowa’ is a delicious soup soured with grated dill pickles and pickle juice. 

The soup is full of aromas of dill, garlic and horseradish. All of these flavours are coming directly from sour cucumbers, slowly fermented in brine.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium (approx. 6 oz, 170 g) carrots
  • 3 medium (approx. 6 oz, 170 g) parsley roots
  • 1/4 (approx. 4 oz, 120 g) celery root
  • 1 leek (the white part)
  • 1.5 lb (0.7 kg) veal on the bone - can be swapped for pork ribs, or poultry (wings, legs etc)
  • 12 cups (3 litres) water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 all-spice berries
  • 5-6 medium dill pickles in brine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 medium (approx. 13 oz, 370 g) potatoes
  • dill pickle juice
  • 10 fl oz (300 ml) sour cream, 18% fat (can be replaced with natural yoghurt)
  • 2-3 tbsp dill, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

    1. Peel the vegetables, chop roughly into large pieces. If your meat is in one big piece, divide it a bit as well. 
    2. Place all the veggies and the meat in a large cooking pot (I use a 5 qt / 5 litres pot).
    3. Pour the water in (enough to cover all the ingredients), and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat, add the spices and cook slowly. If scum appears, get rid of it with a slotted spoon.
    4. Peel the pickles, grate them on a box grater (large holes). If you’re using a food processor, make sure the pickles won’t turn into ‘mush’. 
    5. Melt butter in a small pot, add grated pickles, cover with a lid. Braise them for 8-10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. make sure they don’t stick to the pot.
    6. Let’s check the main pot. When the meat comes off the bone (it can take 1,5 to 2 hours), take the soup off the heat. Gently pour the stock through a sieve into another pot.
    7. Peel 4 medium potatoes, chop them into cubes and add to the stock. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat, until potatoes are almost soft.
    8. Add grated pickles and a few tablespoons of pickle juice. Have a taste - add more juice if you feel that the soup needs it.
    9. Add selected meat pieces, you can also add sliced carrot and parsley we’ve cooked. 
    10. Grab a small pot of sour cream, add some hot stock into it. Mix well with a fork, then add some more stock, mix again. Then add that creamy mixture into the soup.
    11. Add chopped dill and season with salt and pepper. Have a taste and add more seasoning if needed.

Notes

  1. I’ve adapted this recipe from Agnieszka Kręglicka (“Niebarowa ogórkowa” in “Wysokie Obcasy” magazine) 
  2. 'Ogórkowa' is also known as: hot cucumber soup, pickled cucumber soup

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 347mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

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Kasia Kronenberger

Kasia Kronenberger is the founder of Polonist, where she celebrates Poland’s very best food.
She’s a self-taught home cook, who – through her own culinary attempts – wants to show you how to recreate Polish flavours at home, wherever that is.
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