One fact that I am finding out quickly is that the Poles love mushrooms!
Lately at the markets in Warsaw, I’ve see older ladies selling small boxes of the most dainty Chanterelle mushrooms (kurek or kurka in Polish) I’ve ever seen in my life. There’s no sign indicating the price, and I have no clue how to ask in Polish.
On Saturday at Hala Mirowska (the farmer’s market), I finally found some stalls with prices – 36 zł (about $11 USD) per kilo.
|Polish gooseberries also are in season now here in Warsaw!|
Last week, I had the most delicious soup made with these seasonal Chanterelle mushrooms at this nearby winebar called Mielżyński. Immediately, I started deciphering the soup’s ingredients - potatoes, carrots, the mushrooms, lots of dill and definitely a touch of heavy cream.
|The restaurant version of "Zupa z Kurek."|
However, trying to find a proper Polish recipe for Zupa z Kurek proved challenging. On some web sites, kurek translated to taps or cock. Umm, not sure that’s what I wanted to cook.
So I did what any good cook or chef does, I re-created my own recipe. As you know, I love soups because they are easy to make and fill you up. Some recipes called for mushroom broth, but I simply used chicken stock.
My soup recipe below only should take you about one hour to make from start to finish. If there are any Poles out there, please share with me your Zupa z Kurek tips!
Smacznego! (Bon appétit in Polish)
|My version of "Zupa z Kurek."|
Polish Soup with Chanterelle Mushrooms (Zupa z Kurek)
250 g. (9 oz.) Chanterelle mushrooms (Polish kurek), washed and cleaned
2 Tablespoons butter
1 ea. large onion, small diced
6 ea. garlic cloves, chopped small
2 ea. carrots, peeled and small sliced
450 g. (16 oz.) potatoes, peeled and small sliced
1 L. (32 oz.) chicken broth
120 ml. (1/2 cup) low-fat milk (For true Polish taste, use heavy cream instead.)
A small handful fresh dill, finely chopped
To taste salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Clean the mushrooms. Mine were really dirty so I covered them with warm water. Let stand for a few minutes, then drain and rinse. I even used my salad spinner to get the mushrooms really dry. I kept the mushrooms whole, but you might want to slice in half if you have larger ones.
2. In a medium-sized pot, heat the butter and then sauté the Chanterelle mushrooms 10-15 minutes until softened and some of the extra water is cooked off. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Add the diced onions and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are softened.
4. Then, add the carrots and potatoes, and cover with chicken stock. Cook over medium-high heat until potatoes are softened, 15-20 minutes. Add the mushrooms during the last five minutes to cook. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Lastly, stir in the dill and milk or cream. This soup tastes great as leftovers as well!