5 days 50 minutes
Memories of childhood grow deeper with Easter. When I was a child, my dad ran a small grocery store. He would make his own zakwas, the starter needed for zurek.
In Poland, people usually don’t make their own zakwas (fermented rye flour starter). It’s easier to purchase it in a bottle in almost every Polish shop. This fermented zurek starter called zakwas is what gives the soup its characteristic sour taste.
Zurek is a traditional Polish soup that’s tangy and fortifying. Made with root vegetables and a meaty broth, it’s quite filling too.
But where did this delightfully sour Polish soup originate?
Originally from Silesia, we’re not sure how Zurek originated, but there are a number of legends associated with it dating as far back as the 15th century. Of course, the soup at that time was a bit different. It only found its current form in the 18th or 19th centuries.
One popular tradition from the Silesian region of Poland involves burying the sour rye soup on Good Friday evening. The soup was taken in a funeral procession to the outskirts of the village and the pot of zurek was buried and covered with soil. And on Sunday, the soup was served for Easter breakfast!
In different regions and parts of the country, zurek ingredients vary a lot. You’ll find boiled potatoes or boiled eggs added often. Some people also add celery, mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, or other root vegetables.
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