This all season Polish pickle soup (zupa ogorkowa) is a tangy, flavourful, hearty dish made using cucumbers pickled in seasoned brine (vinegar free). It’s simple, easy to make and tastes fantastic the next day too! Both vegetarian and meat versions included.
Polish pickle soup (zupa ogorkowa) is a very popular dish in Poland. It can be made with or without meat. My main recipe is vegetarian but I’ve included instructions on how to make this soup with chicken in Recipe Notes at the bottom of the page.
This recipe is essentially a basic root vegetables soup with added pickled cucumbers. It’s simple, cheap and easy to make!
Polish dill pickles for Polish pickle soup
The pickled cucumbers are the star of this soup so you need to make sure you buy the right kind. There are really 2 types of pickled cucumbers – some are pickled in vinegar while others in seasoned natural brine. This soup is made using the latter – read the label carefully and ensure there is NO VINEGAR in the product.
The reason is that cucumbers pickled in natural brine taste quite different from ones pickled in vinegar. So you would get very different soups. While both types of pickles are delicious, this particular soup requires dill pickles in brine. Otherwise it won’t taste authentic.
Depending on where you live you might come across Pickled Gherkins or Dill Pickles but these may contain vinegar so to avoid confusion it is best to get ‘ogόrki kiszone’ from your nearest Polish delicatessen. The ones I got looked like this:
The brine consists of a few spices, salt and water and it’s additives free. Despite its simplicity it is full of flavour (if you like sour food you will love this product!). It’s amazing how much flavour there is in a simple little pickle – the brine is absolutely delicious and I ended up adding a whole cupful to the soup (along with 5 pickles).
Polish dill pickle soup is naturally gluten and dairy free
Polish dill pickle soup is often thickened with flour and served with sour cream, as are many other soups in Polish cuisine. But this recipe doesn’t require either, in my opinion. So this dill pickle soup can be enjoyed gluten free as well as dairy free and vegan.
How to season Polish pickle soup
Because dill pickles are so flavourful this simple dish does not need much in the way of spices. Pepper will suffice. It’s best to season this dill pickle ogorkowa soup only with pepper as it’s cooking and perhaps add a bit of salt (if any) once it’s cooked. The brine and pickles are quite salty so you may not need to add any.
How to make vegetarian soup recipe with pickles
Polish dill pickle soup is incredibly easy to make! It does require a bit of chopping and grating but once you’ve prepped the vegetables it takes minutes to put together. Start by frying the onion, leeks and bay leaf in a bit of oil in a large pot. Then add the other vegetables, including the dill pickles and cook for a few more minutes.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, cover, bring to the boil, then simmer for about 50 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Taste the soup to see if it needs any salt. Enjoy!
How to make a meat version of dill soup
If you would like to make this soup with meat I would suggest using a couple of chicken thighs, one chicken leg or about 3 chicken drumsticks (without the skin). Simply add the chicken into the pot along with the onion and leek. Then add all the other ingredients as per instructions. Do not use chicken breast as the meat will be very dry after an hour of cooking.
More Polish Soup Recipes
If you like this Polish pickle soup recipe you may also like this Sauerkraut Vegetable Kapusniak Soup – another hearty, tangy Polish dish! You might also enjoy my post on How To Make Vegetarian Borscht. For a non-vegetarian recipe try my Homemade Chicken Noodle Rosol Soup.
Check out also this collection of over 12 creamy vegan soups.
Polish Dill Pickle Soup (Ogorkowa Zupa)
- medium dill pickles ogorki kiszone, coarsely grated
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 small leek finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot peeled, coarsely grated
- 100 g celeriac peeled, coarsely grated
- 3 large potatoes peeled, cubed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 vegetarian stock cube
- 3 tablespoons good vegetable oil
- 3.5 cups hot water
- 1 cup dill pickle brine
- 1 tablespoon butter or non-dairy spread
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp each: parsley and dill (optional) finely chopped
- In a large pot heat up the oil, add the bay leaf, onion and leek, stir and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Add the celeriac, carrot, potatoes and dill pickles, stir and continue cooking for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season with pepper, add the stock cube, water and pickle brine, stir, cover and simmer for about 50 minutes (until the potatoes are soft). Add the herbs towards the end of cooking (if using). Remove from the heat, add the butter, stir and serve. See Notes below for making this soup using chicken.