Zupa Szczawiowa Polish Sorrel Soup Recipe

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Sorrel leaves taste just perfect in a soup! You’ll love the zesty and tangy flavor of this Zupa Szczawiowa or Polish Sorrel Soup topped with boiled eggs and diced potatoes!

What Is Zupa Szczawiowa?

Zupa Szczawiowa is a popular Polish dish made from sorrel leaves. Because it’s green in color, this tangy soup is often also called Green Borscht!

What Is Sorrel? What Does It Taste Like?

Chopped sorrel leaves on a cutting board.
Chopped sorrel leaves

Sorrel is a perennial herb that’s also called spinach dock or narrow-leaved dock. In Poland, it’s called szczaw, while in Ukraine and Russia it’s called shchavel.  

Sorrel leaves look similar to spinach but are more pointy. 

Sorrel contains oxalic acid and tastes somewhat sour or tangy. But this sourness can be balanced by the addition of sour cream to the sorrel soup.

How can sour cream or cream reduce the sourness of the soup? 

The cream contains casein and calcium which reacts with the oxalic acid to reduce the sourness to a mild tanginess. If that didn’t make sense, just try the recipe and see! You’ll love it! 

Bowls of sorrel soup with boiled eggs on top and boiled potatoes in another bowl.
Serve topped with boiled eggs and a side of boiled potatoes

How Do You Make Polish Sorrel Soup At Home?

Sorrel soup is easy to make. Simply make a broth with pork, spices, and veggies.

Once the broth is ready, fry the sorrel leaves and add to the broth. Allow this to cook for a few more minutes.

Next, remove the meat from the broth.

Puree the sorrel and other vegetables in the broth till it’s nice and creamy. Cook for another 5 minutes before slowly adding in the cream.

Season with salt and pepper and serve! Add-ons such as hard-boiled or poached eggs or diced boiled potatoes go great with this easy Polish sorrel soup.

Zupa Szczawiowa topped with wedges of boiled eggs.
Zupa Szczawiowa topped with wedges of boiled eggs

Tips For Making Zupa Szczawiowa Polish Sorrel Soup

  • If you wish, you can use sorrel from a jar too.
  • Top with or a dollop of cream, or wedges of hard-boiled eggs, or a whole poached egg.
  • Serve with diced boiled potatoes. 
  • Make sure the soup doesn’t boil or the soup will lose its flavor.
  • Puree the broth with a hand blender, but if you don’t have one it’s okay to transfer the contents to a mixer and back. 
  • Top with fried sorrel leaves for decoration.  
Polish Zupa Szczawiowa topped with a poached egg.
Polish Zupa Szczawiowa topped with a poached egg

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Polish Zupa Szczawiowa

How Do You Pronounce Zupa Szczawiowa?

Zupa szczawiowa is pronounced zoo-pah shch-tah-vee-yoh-vah or zu-pah sh-tah-vi-oh-vah.

What Other Cultures Make The Zupa Szczawiowa?

The Polish sorrel soup is popular among the Ashkeniazi Jews. It’s also made in the Armenian, Belarusian, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Russian and Ukrainian cultures.

What Are The Other Names For Zupa Szczawiowa?

The Zupa Szczawiowa is also called green borscht, green schchi, or green soup in other Eastern European countries.

I Don’t Like/Eat Pork. Can I Use Any Other Meat?

If you don’t like pork, you can make the broth with an equal amount of chicken or turkey instead (see my Polish chicken soup recipe). And if you do not want meat at all, you can make a vegetable broth and enjoy a vegetarian zupa szczawiowa. 

What can I do with extra sorrel puree?

If you have leftover sorrel puree (that hasn’t been mixed with cream), pour it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for a few fweeks. You can use this puree in soups or other dishes. 

What Else Can I Serve The Zupa Szczawiowa With?

Other serving options include:

  • Serving the zupa made from sorrel with fried bacon and mashed potatoes.
  • Or you can serve it with crunchy toasted bread lathered with butter. 
  • Croutons and a dash of olive oil are also a great accompaniment. 

How Long Can I Store The Sorrel Soup?

Since the Polish sorrel soup contains cream, it is best to finish it within a few days. Store it in the refrigerator and reheat before serving. Do not boil!

Polish Sorrel Soup Recipe

Zupa Szczawiowa Polish Sorrel Soup Recipe

Zupa Szczawiowa Polish Sorrel Soup Recipe

Sorrel leaves taste just perfect in a soup! You'll love the zesty and tangy flavor of this Zupa Szczawiowa or Polish Sorrel Soup topped with boiled eggs!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

Pork broth - Polish Sorrel Soup Base

  • 1 pork knuckle / pork rib
  • 1 carrot
  • ¼ celery root
  • 1 parsley root
  • ½ onion
  • 7-8 cups of water
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves

Main ingredients for Polish Sorrel Soup

  • 1 lb / ½ kg of fresh sorrel (may be.1 cup of unfrozen sorrel or sorrel puree)
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup (220ml) of heavy cream
  • salt, pepper

Polish Sorrel Soup Add-ons

  • 5 potatoes
  • 5 eggs

Instructions

Cooking Pork Broth

  1. Cover pork knuckle/ rib with cold water. Add allspice berries and bay leaves, and start cooking really slowly (the soup CANNOT start boiling otherwise it will lose its taste).
  2. In the meantime, peel the carrot, parsley root, celery root, and onion.
  3. If you notice the white/dark foam on the soup, collect it with a tablespoon and throw it away. It's called szumy and it's completely normal that you have it in your soup.
  4. When there is no more szumy, add vegetables and put them into the soup. Cook until soft.


Making Polish Sorrel Soup

  1. Take off pork, allspice berries, and bay leaves from the soup.
  2. Wash and cut the sorrel.
  3. Fry the sorrel with 1 tbsp of oil and crushed garlic cloves until soft.
  4. Add sorrel to the soup and cook together for 5 minutes.
  5. Blend everything until you get the smooth and creamy soup.
  6. Turn off the heat, wait for 3-5 minutes and pour the heavy cream very slowly, stirring all the time.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.

Preparing Polish Sorrel Soup Add-ons.

  1. Peel and cook the potatoes until soft.
  2. Hard-boil or poach the eggs.

Serve the soup hot with eggs and diced potatoes!

Notes

  • If you don't like pork, use chicken.
  • If you're vegetarian, make a veg broth instead of a pork broth.

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    2 Responses

    1. I’d rather not use pork broth for sorrel soup, but veal or beef. However any broth would be good, according to taste, or just according to what one has at hand. Offcuts and bones may be used.
      Sorrel leaves should be cleaned of stems and fibres before being chopped.
      Chopped sorrel should be braised, not fried, with butter rather than oil. Garlic is definitely not necessary.
      Next to eggs, rice is a classic add-on. Potatoes are less used.
      “Szumy” means “noises”. A foam on the surface of cooked broth is “szumowina”.

      1. Thanks for your comment! Everyone has their own recipe for Polish sorrel soup. You don’t need to clean the sorrel from the stems and fibres :).
        I’ve never heard of eating zupa szczawiowa with rice! Must try this.

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