Okay, no need to cringe. Although it may sound strange, dill pickle soup is a wonderful traditional Balkan dish that is served throughout Eastern Europe. It is very prevalent in Poland especially, and perhaps they should get the credit for this historically speaking, but we are going to make it anyway and call it Balkan-esque. Either way, it is definitely something different!
While making this soup, we went on a little journey as our culinary skills were put to the test. We stared with a recipe from about.com which was okay, but after tasting it we were not happy with the consistency. This made a brothier soup, even after the sour cream was tempered in, while our memories of eating at Serbian restaurants with the family always included a creamier dill pickle soup. So we took steps.
Basically, we removed slightly over half of the (slightly cooled) soup from the pot to a food processor, blending in a bit of plain Greek yogurt (although more sour cream can also be used.) All in all, we added about another 1/3 of a cup. This process broke down the chunks of pickle and potato, which resulted in creamy puree. We added this back to the rest of the soup and stirred until uniform. What we were left with was a velvety soup that was greatly improved in texture and appearance. Below you will find the original recipe; we highly recommend taking the extra step.
Note: We used vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian.
From the about.com website:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 large garlic dill pickles, about 3 cups chopped
- 2/3 cup liquid from pickle jar or water
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- Salt and black pepper
- Sugar to taste, if desired
- Chopped fresh dill for garnish, if desired
- Melt butter in a large pot. Saute onion until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add broth, pickles, pickle liquid and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Blend flour with sour cream. Temper sour cream mixture with a little hot soup. Pour tempered sour cream into hot soup, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning, adding sugar if desired. Note:At this point, the soup can be left chunky or pureed to the velvety consistency of vichyssoise.
- Serve in heated bowls garnished with chopped fresh dill, if desired.