zurek

Polish Zurek

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This is one of my favouriate meals; Zurek, or Polish sour soup. It’s made from a fermented base of fermented rye flour, with kielbasa and boiled eggs added. Traditionally its served in a bowl made from a really hard bread. The bread is so hard that you can’t really eat the bowl, but the soup is brilliant.

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Here’s the recipe. You have to make the fermented base a few days in advance, and then you can make the soup.

How to make the base for ?urek

You will need:

  • about 1 cup of rye flour
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 2-3 cups of warm water
  • bread crust (the best would be rye bread)
  • few grains of allspice
  • optionally 1-2 cloves of garlic

Mix the flour with the boiling water until there are no lumps. Then set it aside to cool. Add bread crust (it should sink completely), garlic, and remaining water. Put the mixture in a jar or clay pot covered with gauze or a delicate piece of cloth. Let the mixture sit for 3 days at room temperature. (each day mix the ingredients delicately). After that time it should be ready to use. As the flour ferments, there will be some lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast. There is also a very special (?) aroma.. You can use it immediately or put it in the fridge (it can be stored for about 2 weeks).

Now you are ready for the classic ?urek recipe

Ingredients

  • Zakwas (?urek base) about 0,5 l
  • Soup vegetables
  • Sausages and smoked bacon
  • Dried mushrooms (optional)
  • Garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • Marjoram
  • 5-6 grains of allspice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Prepare the vegetables (wash, peel and cut into smaller pieces). Bring them to boil with about 3-4 cups of water. Reduce a heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add sausage or bacon and mushrooms, return to the boil, reduce heat and cook another 30 minutes. Remove sausage from soup, slice when cool enough to handle, and set aside. Strain stock through a sieve, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much flavor as possible. Return the stock to the soup pot. Add “zakwas” to the stock (the clear part from the top and 2-3 spoons of the thick flour from the bottom). Bring to a boil, add sliced sausage pressed garlic and other spices. in heated bowls with half a hard-cooked egg in each serving and rye bread on the side.

(original source for the recipe is http://blog.polishorigins.com/2013/06/26/zurek-traditional-polish-sour-soup/, but seems to have died)

Zurek – sour rye soup

Cds 2016 10 06 20 27 41 Here’s one of my favourite recipes – a hearty sour soup from Poland. No it does not have a sour taste, but it contains fermented rye flour which gives it a unique taste.

There are two parts to the recipe – making the zakwas – the base, and then the actual zurek.

The base for zurek

  • about 1/2 cup of rye flour
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 2-3 cups of warm water
  • bread crust (the best would be rye bread)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic

Mix the flour with the boiling water until there are no lumps. Then set it aside to cool. Add bread crust (it should sink completely), garlic, and remaining water. Put the mixture in a jar or clay pot covered with gauze or a delicate piece of cloth. Let the mixture sit for 3-5 days at room temperature (each day mix the ingredients a little). As the flour ferments, there will be some lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast, and you will smell the sour rye-bread smell. You can use it immediately or put it in the fridge (it can be stored for about 2 weeks).

Zurek

  • Zakwas (zurek base) – about 0,5 l (use as much of the top clear part as possible and a little of the thick floury part to thicken the soup with)
  • Soup vegetables (potato, carrots, turnips etc)
  • 1 onion
  • Sausage (chopped thinly (kielbasa if you can get them – otherwise any good German, Polish or Russian sausage will do)
  • Smoked bacon, or ham hock, or kassler pork neck etc
  • Dried mushrooms – I used about 1/2 punnet of fresh mushrooms
  • Garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Some herbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Stock if you want it more meaty

Directions

  • Fry the onion, garlic and bacon.
  • Chop the veggies and add to the pot.
  • Bring them to boil with about 3-4 cups of water, add the sausage, and simmer until cooked.
  • Add “zakwas” to the stock (about 2 cups from the clear part at the top and 2-3 spoons of the thick flour from the bottom).
  • Bring to a boil, add spices, salt & pepper to taste
  • Serve with quartered hard-cooked egg in each serving and rye bread on the side.

Original source: http://blog.polishorigins.com/2013/06/26/zurek-traditional-polish-sour-soup/

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