Thursday, August 20, 2009

One dobry pickle soup!

I recently went up to New Britain, Connecticut on b'iness. I didn't know it until I got there, but New Britain is home to more folks of Polish extraction than any other ville in the Nutmeg State.

I dined in two Polish restaurants whilst visitin' New Britain, Connecticut. Reviews are forthcoming. In the meantime, please know this:

For the first time in my life, I consumed pickle soup during my time in CT. I wasn't expecting much prior to eating it; indeed, I envisioned pickle soup as nothing more than sliced pickles in a vinegar "broth." Well ...

The pickle soup I ate was so freakin' good, my "This is so freakin' good!" reaction(s) caused another member of my dining party to order a bowl, and she was equally impressed. (And she knows who she is!)

Last night, I endeavored to recreate the incredible bowl of pickle soup I consumed up in the Land o' Joe Lieberman. I used a recipe from a cookbook -- Polish Cookery: The Universal Cookbook -- I just got on eBay. Here's how I did it (forwarded recipe courtesy of ...

The simplest [pickle soup recipe], from an old cookbook ... Polish Cookery by Marja Ochorowicz-Monatowa (Crown Publishers, 1958), calls for 3-4 dill pickles (depending on size), peeled and thinly sliced, to be cooked in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 cup light meat stock ... until transparent and completely tender (about 30 minutes).

Thoroughly blend 1 tablespoon flour with ¾ cup sour cream; add to pickle mixture, along with 5 more cups of stock. (The recipe does not say anything about heating the soup further, but I would say it should be simmered for a few minutes to combine everything and heat it through. Don't let it boil after adding the sour cream or it will curdle.) Season sparingly-the author advises that salt accentuates the sour taste, but notes that you should add a little pickling liquid or a few drops of lemon juice if the soup is not tart enough. Serves 6 to 7.

Here's a pic o' my pickles simmering in butter and stock ...

Here's a pic of my finished product (seasoned with some parsley flakes) ...

My pickle soup was pretty darn good, but it wasn't knee-bucklingly good like the pickle soup I had up in CT. Next time I make it, I'm going to cut out one cup of stock and add one cup of heavy cream. And I'm going to stand over the soup, ladling pickle juice into it to make sure it maintains a perfect creamy balance. So there.

Oh, just so you know ... more Connecticut "stuff" is coming ... stay tuned.

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