Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dill Soup - Zupa Koperkowa

Witamy!  We recently received a request to share a recipe for Dill Soup.  I don’t remember my Mom having cooked this dish so we fired up Google and started browsing through Polish cooking sites.  After finding recipes on several sites in Poland, we concluded quickly, that this is about as “Polish” as you can get...showcasing the flavor of dill, which I’ve said over and over, should be declared the national herb of Polish cuisine.  This soup is simple, fresh and a snap to prepare.

Fresh is the best way to go!   We buy all our dill in fresh bunches from a local Latino/Asian market.  They carry it almost the whole year round and the taste of fresh dill is just so much more flavorful than the dried variety from a jar.  The newly harvested bunches are sold with their roots still attached so we wrap the roots in moist paper towels, place them in a one-gallon plastic bag and keep them crisp and cool in the lettuce bin of the fridge.  It’s easy to chop a few tablespoons from the bunch, and the dill stays fresh for more than a week.

Laura looked at several different recipes, some of which have you making your own stock from meaty bones and vegetables.  But she wanted to give you a simpler and easier version that could be made in less than 30 minutes.  We had it for our supper tonight, with a side of Marinated Beet Salad (pg 25 in our book) which was featured in the September issue of Healthy Aging Magazine.  YUM!

Tough choices:  Dill Soup can be served with either quartered hard boiled egg as an ingredient (as with the iconic sorrel soup), or with dribbled batter dumplings (lane kluski in Polish).  This is my favorite;  when I was young, “dribbles”  were an infrequent treat, even though they are incredibly easy to make.

More choices:  according to the recipes Laura reviewed, these days in Poland Dill Soup is also being eaten with potatoes (cooked in the soup), with rice, or even egg noodles. I'm thinking Orzo, but that's not aso Polish...regardless of the starch you choose, this is a tasty traditional soup dish that everyone will love.   Smacznego!

Dill Soup - Serves 4
2 tablespoons butter, divided
¾ cup dill, finely chopped
6 cups of stock, either: beef, veal, chicken or vegetable
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup cold water
1 egg yolk
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

• Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet, add ¼ cup dill and sauté gently over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
• Heat stock to boiling and add the dill and butter mixture. 
• Dissolve the flour in the cold water and add to the stock.  Bring the stock back to a low boil.
• If you are cooking the string dumplings (see below), dribble the dumpling mixture into the boiling stock and cook for one minute.  Keep soup at a low boil to avoid disintegrating the dumplings.
• Beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of butter.  Gradually add 1 cup of the boiling stock and stir well.  Stir in the sour cream until the mixture is smooth.  Return this mixture to the soup pot.
• Simmer for a minute or two but do not boil.  Turn off the heat, add the remaining dill, stir, cover and let stand for 2-3 minutes.
• Adjust seasonings.

String Dumplings
1 large egg
3½ tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
• Mix egg with flour and salt.  Beat with wisk or fork for 2 minutes.  Dribble batter slowly into boiling stock from a spoon or fork.

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