Żurek - polish rye soup

Marcin Kotwicki

Marcin Kotwicki

5th June 2017

Żurek - polish rye soup

This is my interpretation of very traditional, polish recipe of "Żurek".
Soup made of rye sour, served mostly during Easter Holidays in Poland.


  • Rye Sour
  • 120 ml. wholemeal rye flour,
  • 240 ml. room-temperature, but previously boiled water,
  • 2 cloves of slightly crushed garlic,
  • 2 bay leaves,
  • 2-3 allspice berries.
  • Pickled eggs.
  • 4 hardboiled eggs,
  • 250ml of beetroot sour.
  • Veg and Smoked Pork Belly Stock
  • 1 carrot, half of a parsley, quarter of a leek, and small piece of a raw celery root,
  • 2 medium sized onions,
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 5 allspice berries.
  • 2 bay leaves,
  • 1-2 juniper berries,
  • 3 medium sized potatoes,
  • 2 teaspoons of horseradish,
  • 240 rye sours,
  • 250g of Polish raw sausage (white sausage),
  • 100g of smoked pork belly,
  • 2-3 teaspoons of marjoram,
  • salt, pepper,
  • 4-5 tablespoons of sour cream (~18% fat),
  • Hardboiled, pickled eggs, Fresh Marjoram.


Rye Sour
Boil water and use it to rinse an interior of the glass or clay jar. Set aside to cool. Add wholemeal rye flour to the jar and pour water. Stir the mixture to form a uniform slurry. Add spices – 2 cloves of slightly crushed garlic, 2 bay leaves, 2-3 allspice berries.
Cover the jar with a piece of gauze or linen cloth. Do not close it with the lid, since the sour needs some fresh air. Set aside for about 3-5 days in a warm place and give it a stir just once a day. Let it mature and the sour will gain a distinct sour smell and taste.
Now, your sour is ready to be used for the soup. Store any leftover in the refrigerator, in a closed glass jar or bottle.
Pickled eggs.
Peel the hardboiled eggs and place them into a large jar of beetroot sour.
Leave them for overnight (if you wish to have just the rim of purple colour or for 3 days if you wish to get full purple colour of whites.
Wash, peel and cut 2 medium sized onions and burn them on dry. Add at the end 1 teaspoon of Marjoram. It will allow to realise the aromatic oils of it.
And the smoked pork belly, 1 carrot, half of a parsley, quarter of a leek, and small piece of a raw celery root. Put them into a large pot and cover with water. Add garlic (2 peeled cloves), 5 allspice berries, 2 bay leaves and, optionally, 1-2 juniper berries. Boil gently for about one hour, then drain the vegetables and save the broth.
In the meantime, wash, peel and dice 3 medium sized potatoes. Add them to stock and simmer to soft. Then blend it to the cream consistence.
Now, add 250ml of rye sour to your vegetable broth (now without vegetables). Stir both ingredients and boil for about 5 minutes. Add the Horseradish to taste.
Cut Polish raw sausage (white sausage) into thick slices and fry it a bit on the frying pan.
To the soup add 2-3 teaspoons of marjoram, sausage slices.
Cook the soup until it gets an intense aroma of meat and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste, then turn the heat off. Add 3-5 tablespoons of sour cream (~18% fat). Stir the soup, but do not boil it any longer.
Serve while still hot, with cut in half hard boiled, pickled eggs and fresh marjoram.

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