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 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 allspice seeds

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:

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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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