This post is for my cousin Kathleen, but I thought everyone else might enjoy it, also.
Dill Pickle Soup, a Polish dish, is a wonderful warming food that is easy to make, vegetarian, cheap and also good for you.
The first time I tried Dill Pickle Soup was on my first date with Mr. Green. We went to a Polish restaurant called Old Krakow in West Portal. He said that dill pickle soup was one of the best things on the menu and we ordered a cup to share. Needless to say, I was skeptical, but I tried it and it was delicious! Unfortunately, the restaurant is no longer there, and, although they said they were going to open up somewhere else in the city, they seem to have disappeared. Their dill pickle soup was wonderful! I'm not sure mine is as good, but I thank them for the inspiration.
You'll find lots of different versions of this soup on the net if you google it.
Here's my version:
Dill Pickle Soup
1 tbls olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 Idaho potatoes - not huge, but a little bigger than a standard baker
chicken or vegetable broth
dill pickles - preferably ones you put up yourself or some that you bought at a local farmers' market
1 large carrot
1 good-sized bunch of fresh dill
1/2 cup of pickle juice
1 pat of butter (optional)
Dice onion, chop garlic fine and saute in the olive oil, in the bottom of a large sauce pan, until translucent.
If at all possible ALL of these veggies should be organic. So should the broth & the milk. OK, so all the ingredients should be organic - for your health & for the planet.
Peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes, add to the onions and garlic and pour enough stock into the pot to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a gentle boil.
Chop up a bunch of pickles into small pieces - about the size of a pea (only, of course, they won't to be round). Make a pile that is about 3/4 as big as the pile of potatoes were.
I get that this is a lot of pickles. . .
Chop up the entire bunch of dill - take out the big stems and just chop the finer stuff. Add it to the pot.
And, yes, that's a lot of dill. Trust me, you'll like it.
Grate the carrot
This is as much for color contrast as it is for flavor, but it's also good for you so go ahead.
When the potatoes are about half done (10 to 15 minutes, depending upon your definition of small) add the pickles and the carrot.
Then add 1/2 cup of pickle juice.
I have no idea why I measure this, but I do.
Bring back to a gentle boil.
When the potatoes are almost done, add some milk. About a cup. Enough to turn the broth opaque. Heat to a gentle boil one last time.
Taste it at this point. Don't burn your tongue (I am notorious for burning my tongue tasting cooking food). If you want to richen it up a bit, add the butter. Just a pat. Not a bunch. You might also add a couple grinds of fresh pepper. I don't add extra salt, but I was raised without salt, so if you think it's not salty enough, add a little.
That's it. Turn the burner off, let it set for a few minutes, ladle it into bowls and eat it.
I like it kind of thin, so I don't thicken it. The starch in the potatoes thickens it enough. Also, if a lot of the broth has gone away during cooking, I add more when I add the milk. You can also add more pickle juice if you like the flavor. And, if you want to get fancy, save a few sprigs of dill to garnish the top!
By the way, ALL of these ingredients are available right now at your local Farmers' Market. Shopping at the Farmers' Market is fun and supports your community. Buy Local!
Please note: I got the soup picture from Sister Mary Martha's blog, entitled Ask Sister Mary Martha and sub-titled "Life is Tough, but Nuns are Tougher. If you need advise ask Sister Mary Martha". A great blog! I love it! She hasn't posted since 2008, but it's still worth a look. The picture is under a post about Santa Claus. You should check out the blog if you are, at this point, just entertaining yourself. . .