An eastern European tradition—pickle soup makes a hearty and delicious meal

›› Ruben Anderson

My vines are loaded with pickling cukes and the dill has grown tall, so it is the ­season for making fermented dill pickles—which means I need to use up leftovers from last year. Pickle soup is a delicious and hearty meal. Russia has a pickle soup, but it seems that Poland is the true homeland of Zupa Ogórkowa. Here is a creamy potato and pickle version.

Dill Pickle Soup
Makes 12 big servings


  • 10 cups of chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup pickle juice
  • 150 gms. (1 ¼ cups) carrots, chopped small
  • 1000 gms. (8 cups) Russet potatoes, cut to the size of game dice
  • 125 gms. (1 cup) celery, thinly sliced
  • 450 gms. (3 cups) dill pickles, coarsely grated
  • 3 tsp. grated garlic
  • pinch or two of dried dill weed
  • 1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil about half of the potatoes in stock until they are soft, then purée with a stick blender.
  2. Add everything except the milk, flour, egg and sour cream and cook another 12 or so minutes, until the potatoes are not quite soft.
  3. Stir together the milk and flour, then add a bit of hot broth and stir again. Add to soup and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil and stir until thickened.
  4. Remove soup from heat. Thoroughly beat egg and sour cream together, and slowly add to the soup. (No sour cream in the house? Curdle some milk by adding one tbsp. of lemon juice to four tbsp. of milk. Let stand for a few ­minutes, then use.)
  5. Serve garnished with fresh herbs or a dollop of sour cream.