10 Traditional Polish Soups

Few weeks ago I met a Greek couple leaving in Warsaw. Dimitris asked me to show him how to cook Bigos. When we talked about Polish cuisine, Anja said that soups are something special for Poland. And this is a fact: in Poland soups are a staple in Polish homes for dinner. You can get it also in any restaurant, served as an appetizer. Check my review of 10 Traditional Polish Soups, soups I like the most and which are the most specific to Polish cuisine.

Which one have you tried and which one is your favorite?

10 Traditional Polish Soups
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Roast Duck and Apples

Are you ready for something special for Sunday dinner? Try this easy recipe for Roast Duck and Apples. Roasting the meat with apples gives a duck moisture and fresh flavor. Rub the meat with marjoram and rosemary and grease with butter to get the perfect Polish dinner for special occasions. Roast Duck and Apples is often served on First Communion and Christening celebrations in Poland. It will be great for Easter dinner as well.

Roast Duck and Apples is a dish known in Poland from centuries. In old Poland the duck served in palaces and manors was rather wild, hunted by Polish nobility on popular those days hunts.

I don’t agree with hunts nowadays, there is a lot of farms that breed animal and there is a lot of meat in stores. Wild animal have less and less forest to live in and the number of wild animals is getting smaller. Let’s admire them free in their environment and not on our tables. Not only humans are inhabitants of the Earth.

Roast duck and apples in the baking dish.
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Sauerkraut and Mushroom Croquettes

Krokiety z kapustą i grzybami

Sauerkraut and Mushroom Croquettes are one of the staple dishes in Poland for Wigilia. We serve it to Beets Borscht instead of Uszka. If you changed the filling to meat, you can just have it for family dinner as a separate dish or with chicken soup. There is quite a lot of frying involved, so I limit krokiety in my diet to few times a year.

Sauerkraut and Mushroom Croquettes served on the plate
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Polish Bigos – Hunter’s Stew

Polish Bigos (Hunter’s Stew) is one of the most known Polish dishes. It’s pronounced: [ˈbʲiɡɔs]. Each family has it’s own recipe for bigos and each bigos is different, but the core is sauerkraut or/and fresh shredded cabbage and various kinds of chopped meats. You can use meats you like or which have left in the fridge. Yes, this is a great way to get rid of leftovers:) The more kinds of meats you use, the richer the taste, just follow your likes.

You need to stew all the ingredients for couple of hours. Some cooks are making bigos for 3 days, each day stewing again and cooling, so that bigos’ flavors combine and give the best taste:) People in Poland say that the more times you warm up bigos, the better it tastes.

Bigos served with bread and vodka
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Polish Beans with Kiełbasa

Fasolka po Bretońsku

The recipe for Polish Beans with Kiełbasa is very easy, there is a lot of freedom involved, you can add more beans or more kiełbasa or seasoning according to your taste. Once you make it, you won’t need a recipe any more. Making is quite intuitive, try and let me know in comments how you liked it.

Let’s be honest, this is not a dietetic food;) Beans and sausage? But once in a while – why not? they will bring you back to your childhood and mom’s and grandma’s cooking. At least I have this feeling. I remember that my mom in Fasolka po bretońsku used all the meat leftovers, which I hated, because she had tended to use too much fat. Those days it was quite hard to feed a multi-generational family of 7-8 people, so all the food was used, no throwing away a thing.

For more Polish comfort food, check the link: Comfort Food.

Polish baked beans with kiełbasa served in a bowl.
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Polish Oven Roasted Sausage and Sauerkraut

Polska Kiełbasa Zapiekana z Kapustą Kiszoną

Polish Oven Roasted Sausage and Sauerkraut is a perfect idea for Autumn and Winter warming, hearty and comforting Polish meal. Choose good Polish smoked kiełbasa – it should have some fat in it, to spread the taste all over the sauerkraut and make the dish complete:)

Don’t forget about caraway seeds – in Polish: kminek. As the cabbage is rather hard to digest and can cause gases, caraway seeds are here to help you and ease your stomach.

Check other ideas for Polish comfort food: http://cookinpolish.com/category/recipes/autumn-food-recipes/.

baked kiełbasa over Sauerkraut served on a folk plate.
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Rosół and Drop Noodles

Rosół z kluskami lanymi

Rosół with Drop Noodles is a special homemade soup in many Polish families. It reminds our Grandmas and childhood. One of the readers on facebook said: “First soup and noodle making lesson I had, standing on a stool, at the stove with my babciu”. Thank you DaMo!

Rosół in Poland is the best medicine, if you are cold or get a flu, your Polish Mama would start making rosół, to take care of you in the best way she knows:)

Kluski lane are easy to make, they will be great in other soups as well. You can prepare them in few minutes, so if you suddenly run out of pasta, you will be fine with this recipe:)

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Sauerkraut and Mushrooms Buns

Paszteciki z Kapustą i Grzybami

My Mum used to bake this kind of small Sauerkraut and Mushrooms Buns to accompany beets borscht on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately when I asked her, she did not remember the recipe, what is more interesting, she even didn’t remember that she has been actually baking them:) Eventually I decided to go for Paszteciki recipe I found on Kwestia Smaku, one of my favorite cooking websites.

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Zamojskie Buckwheat Dumplings

Dumplings are Polish favorite dish. They can have a whole range of fillings: sauerkraut, meat, farmers cheese, fruits. I had Zamojskie Buckwheat Dumplings for the first time when I was in college. I went with other students for hiking in Bieszczady Mountains. On a way back my friend Kasia took me to her hometown: Krasnystaw, near Lublin and Zamość. Her mum cooked Buckwheat Dumplings and they were delicious. My new favorite dumpling flavor:)

Lately I found out that buckwheat dumplings are specialty of this area of Poland. They are called Zamojskie (from Zamość), and sometimes Lubelskie (from Lublin).

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Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup is a great seasonal food idea for Autumn. If you happen to get fresh wild mushrooms you need to try it. The add of barley makes the soup more filing and comforting in chilling weather.

In September my friend Agnieszka took me to her old Summer place at the end of small Masovian village. She did not go to this place for few years, it appeared that a lot of young trees have grown there, most of all – spruces. How surprised we were to find a lot of Slippery Jacks all over the place:)

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Onion Water from Kurpie

Last weekend we went to Mazuria district to visit my parents. It was the second year we celebrated our family’s Baked Potato Day:) After dark we lighted a campfire and we baked sausages and potatoes. My sister-in-law, Marzena told us about an onion water from Kurpie, she tried few years ago visiting her friends. It sounded interesting, so I asked google and found an easy recipe I followed: Woda cebulowa. Actually when we were drinking it, we remembered that our Grandma was sometimes preparing this kind of drink and we had it with boiled potatoes, only she was also adding sour cream and called it Kvas.

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Most popular Polish vegetables

What is the must have of each Polish housewife? To prepare an every day soup or Sunday broth, you need these popular in Poland vegetables. Check if you know their Polish names!

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Polish Pickle Cucumber Salad

Yesterday was the last day of Summer:( In order to keep some Summer tastes for short cold Winter days, I made Polish Pickle Cucumber Salad. Canning has a long story in Poland, Polish housewives from 1980ties and 1990ties all the Summer were busy with packing cucumbers, red peppers, forest mushrooms, jams and compotes into jars. I remember pickled cucumber salad my Mum prepared those days, it was called Swedish Salad and had cucumbers and carrots in vinegar solution. My version has also red peppers and onions. Try this recipe, you will have crunchy spicy vegetables to reach for and accompany your meals in Winter.

You may also like simple and easy recipe for Quick Pickled Cabbage, that is ready on the very next day from preparing. I don’t preserve it, it can be stored in a fridge even for a month.

Polish pickle salad in jars.
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Polish Yeast Sweet Rolls

Plum & Cheese Yeast Rolls

Sunday afternoon is a perfect time for Polish Yeast Sweet Rolls. This kind of rolls are very popular in Poland to have it for ‘second breakfast’ at school or in the office.

For more Polish desserts check: http://cookinpolish.com/category/recipes/desserts/.

Polish Yeast Rolls with cheese and plums served on the plate.
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5 kinds of Polish Potato Dumplings to love

Review of Polish Potato Dumplings – check if you know them all!

Potatoes are one of the most popular food ingredient in Poland. They are cheap and can be easily stored during winter. Potatoes may be easily called a poor food. In the cities you can have pasta and rice more often, but in historically poorer countryside – you have potatoes! It is a popular side dish and a start to many other dishes, such as delicious Potatoe pie, Polish Farmer’s Casserole with sausages or: Polish potato dumplings. Check if you know all 5 kinds of Polish Potato Dumplings, I’m sure you will love it.

There is a whole variety of Polish potato dumplings, they vary in size and ingredients, whether cooked or raw potatoes are used, what kind of flour is used and is it served as a side dish or a main course.

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Kartacze – Polish Potato Dumplings

Kartacze – Polish Potato Dumplings are made of raw potatoes with small (or non) addition of cooked ones. They are regional dish in Podlasie – North- Western part of Poland. Go to Białystok to try the best Kartacze ever:) Or make them yourself:)

In my family house we called them Kołduny, so the naming may vary:) My Grandma and Mum were born and raised on the present territory of Belarus, but back then it was Poland, language and cuisines mixed. Kartacze can also be called Cepeliny (dish with Lithuanian origins).

There is a range of Polish potato dumplings, they vary in size and ingredients, whether cooked or raw potatoes are used, what kind of flour is used and is it served as a side dish or a main course. If you are not sure which potato dumplings you like the most, check my short comparison of Polish potato dumplings with pictures and recipes: http://cookinpolish.com/5-kinds-of-polish-potato-dumplings/.

Kartacze Polish Potato Dumplings served on a plate with sauteed onions.
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Polish Redcurrant Kompot

I cooked Polish Redcurrant Kompot, as lately I got a plenty of redcurrant from my friend. Kompot is a drink, that Poles usually drink to dinner. It is served in every Polish office and school’s canteen.

Kompot is a fruit drink made of fresh or dried fruits. Wikipedia says that the tradition of kompot drinking has more than 700 years! The most special kompot is made for Christmas Eve- you cook dried fruits with seasonings like cloves and cinnamon. It smells like Christmas:)

In the Summer when there are many fresh fruits available, you can easily have this nice, healthy, simple drink for kids and adults. You can cook kompot using cherries, apples, rhubarb, strawberries, plums or peaches. You can also mix few different fruits in one pot. It is much better than soda. It’s fresh, with no preservatives and you control the level of sugar, or use healthier sweeteners, such as stevia.

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Polish Plum Yeast Cake

Taste of the childhood in Poland. My Grandma was baking this traditional Polish plum yeast – risen cake on Saturdays afternoons. We were eating still warm piece of cake with cold milk. Yummy:)

You can have this Polish Yeast Cake actually with any seasonal fruits. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb – all will go great with a yeast cake. I love a smell of baking plums, so I choose plums:)

If you prefer apples and crusty desserts you may want to check my Polish Szarlotka recipe.

Polish plum yeast cake on the plate
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Chanterelle Cream Sauce

Last Saturday I found fresh forest chanterelles on a local farmers market. They are not cheap, they cost 60 PLN per 1 kg, which is more than 15 USD. However they are sooo good, that I couldn’t resist:) I was waiting the whole season to cook Chanterelle Cream Sauce.

I had some for delicious scramble eggs for breakfast.

For dinner I cooked cream sauce, which I served with grilled turkey breast, young potatoes and mizeria (cucumber salad). However you can have any nice piece of grilled or fried meat with chanterelle sauce: pork chop, beef steak or pork tenderloin. If you prefer to stick with veggie, potato dumplings, crepe and pasta would go very well with this sauce.

Chanterelle cream sauce on the plate with potatoes and grilled turkey
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Polish Stuffed Zucchini

I remember when I was 6-8 years old, we were spending vacations on our large garden plot and sleeping in a Summer small house. My father was planting tomatoes & cucumbers for sale and other vegetables for our own use. We had zucchinis, but not eating them while they are small, but waiting them to grow to 2-3 kg each:) Then my Mum was cooking Polish Stuffed Zucchini.

Nowadays it is hard to find these big zucchinis in stores, but when I go to Farmers market, I get them from real farmers, not the sellers that buy in wholesalers and just distribute goods. They cost about 1 USD per kilogram.

Polish Stuffed Zucchini was one of the dishes that my Mum made for our big family those days. It was quite cheap to make: you use minced meat mixed with rice, so you can manage on your own the ratio between them:)

Ready baked Polish stuffed zucchini on the plate with tomato sauce.
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