I tried pickle soup for the first time as a kid at a European restaurant. As a pickle lover (who isn’t?!), it was everything I hoped for and more. Fast forward about 20 odd years, and I was reminded of this soup by one of my fellow stall neighbours, a Polish lady, at the farmer’s market where I sold my ferments. I can’t believe it took so long to bring it back into my life…it’s now a fall/winter staple for good.
This soup is incredibly simple to make, and perfect for cold and flu season. I would argue that its comfort might even rival good ol’ Chicken Noodle! Cool fun fact…gargling with the brine (or the brine from any lacto-ferment, for that matter) is said to be a great natural remedy for cold and flu as the salt helps to restore pH levels, soothing the throat; and the probiotics help promote good gut health which is so important for overall health. If you do so choose to reserve a few shots for these purposes, it shouldn’t noticeably affect the outcome of the soup.
You could serve this as a light meal or round it out to a larger meal with another accompaniment. I think one of these days I’ll try adding some good ham to it as I think it would go fantastically. Please share your results in the comments if you try this before I do! For those who are avoiding dairy, on a Paleo, Whole30, Vegan, or Vegetarian diet; the recipe can easily be modified (see recipe notes).Print
One of those things that is everything you hope it will be, and more. Adapted from Polish Housewife’s Ogorkowa (Sour Pickle Soup). See notes for Whole30/Paleo and Vegetarian/Vegan substitutions.
- 6 cups bone broth (see note) [Savoury Beef Bone Broth recipe here]
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoons dried marjoram
- 4 carrots peeled and grated (approx. 2 cups)
- 2 parsnips peeled and grated (approx. 2 cups)
- 4 yellow potatoes peeled and diced (approx. 3 cups)
- 1 litre sour pickles (see note)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, and saute until soft and beginning to turn golden, 5-10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and marjoram. Saute for an additional minute.
Add broth, and increase heat to medium high. Add carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. Once soup has reached a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Continue cooking until vegetables are cooked through.
While soup is cooking, remove pickles from the jar, reserving the brine. Coarsely grate the pickles. Add pickles and brine to the soup once vegetables are cooked through.
Just before serving, stir in the cream and fresh dill. Salt and pepper to taste (careful – it may not need any salt as the brine is already very salty!).
It’s best to use an unsalted broth as the pickle brine will already be very salty.
Sour pickles (different from vinegar pickles found on the dry shelf) can be found at some grocery stores, most European markets, and health food stores.
Paleo/Whole30: substitute 1 can full fat coconut milk in place of cream
Vegan/Vegetarian: substitute 1 can full fat coconut milk in place of cream and substitute vegetable broth in place of bone broth