Compiled by Dorota and Dominik Denysiewicz
Polish ryemeal soup with sausage, known as żurek, is typical of the 'sour' soups beloved by many Eastern Europeans.
A żur or sour (also known as kwas), the base for this soup, is created by fermenting rye flour with water in a jar or crock for up to five days.
In Poland, this is often served before the main meal of the day or as a hangover cure.
- 3/4 cup rye flour
- 2 cups water boiled and cooled to lukewarm
- 1/2 pound peeled and chopped soup vegetables (carrots, parsnips, celery root, leeks)
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 pound fresh Polish sausage
- 1 pound potatoes
- 2 cups ryemeal sour
- 1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour mixed with 4 tablespoons water
- 1 garlic clove crushed with 1/2 teaspoon salt to make a paste
In a medium bowl, mix together rye flour with lukewarm water. Pour into a glass jar or ceramic bowl that is large enough for the mixture to expand. Cover it and let stand in a warm place for 4 to 5 days.
- In a large soup pot, bring soup vegetables and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add sausage, return to the boil, reduce heat and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove sausage from soup, slice when cool enough to handle, and set aside.
- Strain stock through a sieve, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the vegetables, skim the fat off the stock and return the stock to a clean soup pot.
- Add the ryemeal sour to the stock, adding salt if necessary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until vegetables are al dente.
- Serve in heated bowls with mash potatoes on the side.