Polish Sour Soup Żurek

Polish Żurek is a soup traditionally prepared for Easter. In some Polish families White Borsch is cooked instead of Żurek, the difference is Kvas/ starter that is used. For Żurek- rye starter, for Borsch – wheat kvas.

If you plan to cook traditional Polish Sour Soup Żurek, you need a rye starter. You can buy one in Polish store or – I encourage you to- make one at home. It takes a few days for the fermentation to make it job, so few days before making Żurek, follow these instructions: How to make Kvas/Starter for Żurek.

Polish Sour Soup Żurek served in a bowl

The whole process of preparing Polish sour soup will take about 1,5 hour.


  • 1 carrot – diced,
  • 1 medium parsley
  • onion burned over the fire
  • piece of forest dried mushroom
  • 5-6 potatoes – diced
  • 0,7 kg/ 1,5 lb raw Polish sausage- we call it biała kiełbasa
  • 1 l/2 pints of sour soup starter
  • 2 ts grated horseradish
  • 0,5 cup sweet cream
  • salt, pepper
  • 4 balls allspice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs marjoram
  • 3 liters/6 pints water

Prepare vegetables stock: boil vegetables (except of potatoes) and mushroom in a big pot.

After 30 minutes add sausage and potatoes.

After another 30 minutes pour stirred sour soup starter. Let the flavor mix for 15 minutes.

Add horseradish and cream, first stir them in a cup of soup, then pour it to the pot.

Add salt and pepper and marjoram.

Take sausages out, diced them and put them back to the soup.

Serve with boiled eggs- I cut it in strings, traditionally you can add an egg cut in halves.

Polish Sour Soup Żurek is spicy, sour, full of flavors and definitely worth spending time on. Enjoy! Smacznego!

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8 thoughts on “Polish Sour Soup Żurek”

  1. Pingback: Kvas/ Starter for sour soup/ Zakwas na żurek – CookINPolish

  2. Hi! I’m baking sourdough bread and use rye starter. Can I use that somehow to make zurek? on the picture the starter looks much more “wet” than the 100% hydration starter

    1. Hi Marta,
      yes, you can do it, just take few tablespoons of rye starter add a cup or 2 of water, to make it like on the picture.
      Add garlic, bay leaves and allspice seeds. Leave it for 1- 2 days in warm place and you will have żurek starter.

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