Sour Rye Soup (Zurek)

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My favorite!! It is basically a vegetable soup flavoured with kwas (a fermented juice which is used to give it a sour flavour). You can either buy the kwas from the polish store or follow the recipe below.


For the kwas:
75g wholemeal rye flour
600 ml boiled, cooled water
1/4 clove garlic

For the soup:
1.25 litres stock from vegetables or beef/chicken bones
100g bacon
100g onion
1 can of mushrooms
400ml kwas
300ml sour cream
5 medium potatoes, cooked and diced
100g smoked sausage, diced


Rinse out an earthenware jar or any non-alluminium container with boiling water. (Note: the alluminium would react with the acidity of the kwas). Put the flour in the jar and mix to a liquid paste with a little of water. Leave the mixture to settle for a few minutes, and then pour on the remaining boiled water. Chop the garlic and add. Cover the top of the jar with muslin or pierced cling film and leave in a warm place for 4 to 5 days to ferment. Strain and use as required. If stored in an airtight container, it will keep for a few weeks.

The Soup:
Heat the stock. Chop bacon and onion and add to stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, kwas, cream and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes and then add potatoes and sausage. Bring to boil. Serves 6.

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