When we think of traditional Polish Easter dishes, one of the first that comes to mind is Poland’s Zurek, the hearty sour-rye soup served with Poland’s famous biała kiełbasa, smoked sausage, mushrooms and a halved egg. During my travels through Poland for the Flavor of Poland TV series, however, I uncovered another classic Polish soup that is also often a feature of the Polish Easter feast. The rich horseradish soup, Zupa Chrzanowa (zoo-pah hshah-noh-vah), that I tried during my visit to the Four Seasons restaurant at the 1231 Hotel in Toruń (episode #10) became one of my favorite dishes from my travels with the show! Its creamy and sharply piquant flavor brought out by the horseradish base paired with the smoked meats, egg and traditional Polish herbs used to complete its taste are the perfect thing to get your tastebuds going on Easter Sunday. I learned later that it’s often the first dish served to start the Easter meal in many homes throughout Poland.
It's a great Easter dinner soup and a unique alternative to the sour-rye soup …in case you’ve already had enough of that one! I certainly haven’t, but because I’m always excited to add something new to my holiday menu, I’ll be substituting my Żurek with the horseradish soup this year!
Take a look below for a simple and quick recipe for Poland’s Horseradish Soup! Hope you give it a try at home this Easter! And while you’re at it, be sure to watch Flavor of Poland’s episode #10 available to stream on www.pbs.org to learn more about its taste and tradition!
- 180 grams of Grated Horseradish
- 2.5 oz Parsley Root
- 2.5oz Celery Root
- 6 in. piece of fresh Horseradish root - grated
- 1 medium sized Onion
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 6-8 small Potatoes
- Leek – about a 10cm piece
- Dill – small bunch for garnish
- Chives – small bunch for garnish
- 0.5lbs. of Smoked Bacon
- 1lbs. of Biała Kiełbasa
- Eggs – 1 per serving
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 2 tbsps. of Marjoram
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Peel & rinse the parsley root and celery root, then cube. Rinse the leek, cut off the dark green leaves and chop up the whitest chunk into thin rings. Peel and dice the onion.
- Set a medium sized pot on the stove and toss in the onion & leek over a tablespoon of oil. Sautee until the onion becomes translucent.
- Pour 8 cups of water into the pot over the sauteed leek and onion and toss in the cubed parsley root and celery root as well as the grated horseradish root. Add 3 cloves of garlic to the pot along with 3 bay leaves and 3-5 balls of allspice. Stir and cover with a lid. Let the broth cook for about 20 minutes.
- While the broth is cooking peel and cube the potatoes. Cube the bacon too. After 20 minutes toss the potatoes into the pot along with the cubed pieces of smoked bacon and biała kiełbasa (whole links). Stir in 2 tablespoons of dry marjoram, salt & pepper to taste. Allow the ingredients in the pot to cook for another 25 minutes on low heat.
- After about 25 minutes the potatoes in the pot should be soft. Remove the meats from the broth and set aside for later. Now add in a jar (180 grams) of grated horseradish and stir well. Allow the soup to cook for another 5-10 minutes on low heat.
- Now you’ll want to add a bit of creaminess to your soup. Take a half cup of milk (you can use a plant-based milk like almond or coconut milk here. I don’t drink regular cow’s milk so I opted for almond milk in my soup), along with 2 tablespoons of flour (again, here you can use a gluten free flour as a lighter option) and whisk together until smoothly blended. Pour into the soup and stir until it is thoroughly blended in.
- Your soup is almost ready! As a final step pour your soup with all its ingredients into a blender and blend until it’s a smooth, silky broth. You may have to do this in two portions depending on the size of your blender.
- Serve with halved egg, sliced pieces of the cooked biała kiełbasa and cubed bacon. Toss some finely chopped dill and chives over the top for added flavor.
Note – you can also opt to enjoy this soup with sauteed mushrooms in place of the meats for a vegetarian option.
Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych & Smacznego!