Kvas/ Starter for rye sour soup

Zakwas na żurek

Kvas is a basic ingredient of Żurek, traditional Polish soup, prepared for Easter. It can be also called: kvas or rye sour soup starter, and is made by fermenting rye (for Żurek) or wheat (for White Borsch) flour. The process is easy, although you need a few days to have your own homemade kvas/ starter for rye sour soup.

There is a whole variety kinds of starters, that you can prepare and use for soups, it depends on the flour you use. I prefer oatmeal one, because you can get very fresh flour on the spot- all you need to do is to grind oatmeal in an old coffee mill:) If you plan to make 100% traditional Żurek, use rye flour and follow the instructions below.

Kvas starter for rye sour soup Żurek


  • 4 tablespoons rye/ wheat/ oatmeal flour
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • few bay leaves
  • few all spice berries

Cut garlic into pieces, place all the ingredients in the big jar (1 liter/2,1 pints or bigger) and fill the jar with warm water.

Cover it with a cloth and and stir it every day with a wooden spoon.

After 5 days (in winter could be 6-7) żurek starter is ready!

Now you are ready to cook a rye sour soup with boiled eggs and Polish sausage:)

Kvas/ Starter for rye sour soup in Polish is zakwas na żurek, or just: Żur, it is quite easy available and rather inexpensive too.

Check the recipe for Żurek here: http://cookinpolish.com/polish-sour-soup-zurek/

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10 thoughts on “Kvas/ Starter for rye sour soup”

  1. Pingback: Polish sour soup/ Żurek – CookINPolish

  2. Mary Abramczyk

    Hello, I just want to clarify – what is the quantity of water per jar for the 4 tablespoons of flour?

      1. Mary Abramczyk

        2-3 cups water plus the rest of the listed ingredients – perfect! I’m gonna try grinding wheat berries to make the wheat flour to use in Zalewajka.

  3. 1. After adding the water it all should be stir?
    2. Can I put a kvas starter to sunny place or rather not?

  4. Pingback: 10 Traditional Polish Soups - CookINPolish - Polish Food Recipes

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