Monday, November 2, 2009

Dill Pickles...

Are not the pickles we use for this delicious soup. This is going to sound like frugality gone mad, but believe you me, in our house when we have 3 medium Polish gherkins (the brine-pickled ones, Mrs Elmswood's Hamisha gherkins come a close second) and half a jar of gherkin brine left we celebrate because we know it means gherkin soup is on the cards.
Bazu recently posted about the importance of sour in Iranian cooking from ingredients such as sour grapes, pomegranate extracts and lemons and limes . Sourness is an equally important component in Polish cookery but it comes from the lactic acid produced during fermentation. Sauerkraut is the best known example, but brine pickles are also popular and the base of a popular Polish soup - bialy or white barsch - resembles nought so much as sourdough starter with it's twin ingredients of rye flour and water left to - you've guessed it - ferment.
Skint Vegan Dad may share the sauerkraut love but the rest of this appetite for the tangy has passed him by, so what better time to whip up a quick pan of pickle soup that when he's stuck on a train between Leeds and Edinburgh, returning from his brother's stag night?

Gherkin Soup (Zupa ogórkowa) (serves 8)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp margarine
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
2 medium potatoes, diced
3 medium brine pickles, grated
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
water to cover vegetables
1 heaped tsp boullion powder

For the zasmaska (roux)
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1 heaped tsp chickpea flour

Melt the oil and margarine together in a medium heavy-based pan. Add the chopped onion and sliced spring onion and fry for five minutes, until translucent. Add the diced potato and grated gherkin and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add celery salt, pepper, boullion powder and enough water to cover the vegetables and bring to the boil. Once bubbling turn down heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Once tender, take a seperate pan and melt 1 tbsp marg before adding 1 heaped tsp chickpea flour and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the flour mix is pale golden, start adding gherkin soup, ladle by ladle, stirring constantly between additions. This process will thicken the soup without diluting the flavour. Once all the soup is combined, make sure it's heated through and serve. Delicious - and tangy. (n_n)

1 comment:

  1. I've got to say, I've never though of putting pickles in soup before... But I do love them, so I bet I would dig this! I'll have to try it.


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