Żurek is one of the most typical Polish soups. It comes from Southern Poland and its original name is actually “żur,” which derives from the German word “sūr” (nowadays spelled) meaning… yup, sour!
Why does it have this particular acidic taste? Well, this soup is made from fermented rye flour – the reason why it is sometimes simply called a “sour rye soup.” In our culture, Żurek has also a long-established tradition of appearing on Easter table – and in many households, this is what you still eat on Easter Sunday’s lunch – or brunch! Even though everyone makes it differently (some people prepare the jus from bacon and sausage, others use meat bones instead of bacon; some folks like to add carrot to the essence, and there are those who believe that a good, old-fashioned żur should include forest mushrooms), there is one rule that cannot be broken: żurek must be served with an egg (which happens to be a symbol of life) inside! Here, we will show you the basic and probably most common recipe – first try to cook the soup using this formula and then experiment with different variations. Remember: żurek is like a martini – you need to find the way you like it!
- Bacon (4 thick slices/200g)
- Oil (1-2 spoons)
- Sourdough (1 bottle – 0.5l)
- Water (1,5-2,0l)
- White sausage (4 pieces)
- Potatoes (5 to 7 depending on size)
- Sour cream 18% (half of the glass)
- 5 boiled eggs
OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS (“Version B”)
- Onion (medium/big)
- Carrot (small/medium)
- Parsley (small/medium)
- Horseradish (1 spoon)
- Garlic (2-3 cloves)
- Bay leaves (3-4 leaves)
- Allspice (4-5 grains)
How to make żurek in less than 10 steps:
- Chop bacon and fry it in the pan with oil for ca. 5 minutes.
b) if you choose the option with onion, chop it too and fry along with bacon.
- Put bacon (or bacon with onion) into a pot and pour in the water.
- Add white sausage (whole pieces), chunks of potatoes, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and allspice grains. Heat till it boils and cook slowly for around 30 minutes.
b) at this point you can also add peeled parsley and carrot and cook it all together.
- After that time, take out the bay leaves, allspice, and sausage (you can also take out the garlic.)
b) take out also parsley and carrot.
- Chop the sausage and put it back into the jus.
b) vegetables – optionally you can chop it and put back into the pot as well.
- Add the bottle of sourdough, salt, pepper, and marjoram into the pot. Cook everything slowly for another 30-40 minutes.
b) at this step you can also add horseradish.
- Put the sour cream into a bowl and mix it with half of a glass/mug of the essence; then slowly add the mixture into the pot, constantly stirring it (if you do that, the cream won’t curdle!) You can cook it on a small stove for another 10-15 minutes. Basically, that’s your soup!
- Cook hard-boiled eggs, peel them and chop into quarters.
Put quarters of eggs into a bowl before you pour the soup – et voila, you have your żurek!
Check ; Rosół – how to make it home