Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Krupnik - Polish Barley Soup
I used to live down the road from a rather brilliant Polish restaurant - the food was cheap and cheerful, but blimey it was filling, and I think that's where I first got addicted to Polish cuisine. The owner / waiter was always helpful in pointing out what was the special of the day and they did some killer pirogi, but one thing I never tried was the soup - being equally as addicted to dumplings as I am to soup, I always went for them first - and occasionally, the restaurant did serve tripe soup (which will be coming to the blog shortly...)
Since starting this blog, I've done a number of East European soups, and they have always been brilliant. This one is no exception. Krupnik is a sort of Polish minestrone, it seems - with various recipes adding or subtracting different elements - you could always try it without the mean - but the constant is the pearl barley. Its a chunky soup that works well (as you would imagine) on a cold night.
Krupnik is not to be confused with the honey sweetened alcoholic drink of the same name, but I'm pretty sure it would go well with this soup too! Also, the dried mushrooms I used in this recipe were given to me as part of a foodie pen pals parcel ages ago and I'd never used them until now, but they gave a nice meaty edge to the soup.
250g Chicken Breasts
150g Pearl Barley
1 Large Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Stalk Celery
2 Bay leaves
15g Dried Mushrooms
1/2tsp Ground Allspice
1.5l Chicken Stock
1. In your soup pan, heat the stock, bringing it to the boil. Cut the chicken breasts into small cubes, then put them in the stock, poaching them for 3 minutes until the meat is cooked. Skim any scum from the stock as you do this. Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside. Take the stock off the heat for the moment
2. Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Into this add the finely chopped onion and celery. Cook until the veg starts to soften, then add the garlic, cubed carrot and leek, cook for another few minutes and then add the cubed potato. Cook for another few minutes until all the veg is softened.
3. Add the vegetables to the stock with the pearl barley, allspice and bay leaves. Wash the dried mushrooms to remove any grit and then add these to the pan also. Bring the soup to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Check the mushrooms and barley are cooked and soft, then add the chicken back into the pan and heat through.
5. Adjust seasoning to taste and then serve. Garnish the bowls with plenty of finely chopped fresh dill. Enjoy!