Monday, July 1, 2013

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!

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

i would be in heaven! haha..i just mentioned gooseberries and mushrooms to you and there they are. you are so lucky! and probably everyone you meet will know how to forage for mushrooms. my dad did it with his father but never taught me.

Joann said...

This looks so tasty! Can't wait to try it. By the way, did you know that low-fat milk is not supposed to be good for you anymore? Fats are back! Use that heavy cream. (And check out "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan sometime.) Thanks for the recipe!

Joy said...

@Joyce, Yes, indeed! I have to find someone to take me mushroom hunting. :-)

@Joann, thanks for the tip! I can't keep track of what's good/what's bad. I figure eating in moderation offset with some exercise, you are probably alright!

R. Samolot said...

And rising - not adding dill, carrots and potatoes. 100% Polish made in Poland.
Bon appetit!
(sorry, recipe is in Polish too)

Joy said...

@R. Samolot, thanks for your Polish recipe!

Here's an original soup recipe if you want to try it:
Krem z Kurek Zupny

Mary B said...

$11 per kilo -that's a steal! I live in the Pacific NW where chanterelles abound, but later ( August-September). Best price I have seen here is $11-12 per pound. In LA, double that.

I make a similar soup with barley instead of potatoes. smacznego! Your soup looks lovely.

BacktoBodrum said...

Sounds great - i'll have to wait till our mushroom season comes around again

Joy said...

@Mary, thank you! Your addition of barley would be a healthy and tasty one too! :-)

@Annie, at least you know there will always be potatoes and dill in Turkey to go with your mushrooms!

Noah said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! My wife and I get a veggie box every week from a local farm, and this week it had chanterelles and a big handful of dill. I searched for a recipe that would use both and turned up your page here. We are sitting down now and eating it for lunch, and my wife keeps saying, "So good, so good!"

On the matter of dairy additions, we didn't have any cream, but we used dollops of no fat Greek yogurt which has worked out very well, and accentuates the dill flavor.

It is so remarkable to be here in Pittsburgh, Pa, USA, and eating a dish made from a recipe posted by someone in Poland. Thanks again for posting it! Our mouths are very happy!

Joy said...

@Noah, that's wonderful to hear! Thanks for stopping by my blog! It's always fun to get new inspiration.

The yogurt sounds like a great addition too! Smacznego!