Dill Pickle Soup Recipe
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Dill pickle soup recipe or Polish ogórkowa zupa is a creamy tangy soup made with potatoes, pickles and fresh dill and finished with a heavy pouring of dairy-free sour cream. It tastes super delicious, good for you, easy to make, gluten free and of course vegan.
Dill Pickle Soup (ogórkowa zupa)
Eastern Europeans love their pickles, dill and sour cream. There are as many variations of this sour soup as there are Polish cooks and this one here is a healthy interpretation of the classic. It beautifully features all the traditional components but the sour cream is dairy free, homemade in the blender without any of the saturated fat and cholesterol. No guilt going for a second bowl of this goodness.
The soup is equally delicious hot and comforting with a hunk of crusty bread In the colder months, or chilled and refreshing out of the fridge during the dog days of summer. It comes together quickly on the stovetop in your favorite cast iron soup pot, no instant pot or slow cooker required.
About the Pickles
Although not the traditional choice, cornichons are my absolute favorite go to for this pickle soup recipe. I love their unique crunch and the fact that I can slice them quickly into perfect little rounds versus dicing a large dill pickle. Essentially they are just tiny cucumbers that have been pickled in brine and it’s perfectly fine to swap them with your favorite Polish dill pickles. To each their own! Make sure to reserve about 1/2 cup of the pickling liquid which is an important component of the flavor profile of the soup.
Although you can of course make this recipe with whatever potatoes you happen to have, you know that I am partial to waxy golden potatoes in soups. First of all I love not having to peel them, but I also love that they hold their shape and do not get mashed. I prefer each individual component here to shine on their own.
Recipe Tips + FAQs
- Grate the Carrot – I insist on the grating element here! Not only does it add body and naturally thicken the soup but it lends it that beautiful golden hue of a veggie stock that has simmered all day long. I only used water here (no stock) and the flavor turned out lovely.
- Pickle Juice – The liquid from the jar of pickles is an important souring agent of the soup. You want to add it early on so the potatoes and aromatics get cooked in it and absorb all that deep flavor. Don’t omit it!
- Fresh Dill – It must be fresh and lots of it. The recipe calls for half a bunch, I usually add that into the soup and serve the other half on the side with extra sour cream. Hold off untill you remove the soup from heat to add it as it is a mild herb.
- Dairy Free Sour Cream – I included our favorite homemade cashew sour cream recipe below. It’s health conscious and made without oil or butter but totally delivers the flavor and texture we are after. Alternatively you could use your favorite store bought brand.
- Variation – Use a small leek instead of onion + add a handful of chopped tomatoes into the mix. Go wild!
- Storage – This soup keeps well in the fridge up to a week and it can even be frozen in airtight lidded containers for up to 4 months. Thaw out in the refrigerator and enjoy cold or reheat on the stovetop.
how to make dill pickle soup
Dill Pickle Soup (ogorkowa zupa)
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot (peeled + grated)
- 1 celery diced
- 1 cup Polish dill pickles (or cornichons) (sliced or diced)
- 1/2 cup pickle juice / brine (liquid from the jar of dill pickles)
- 1 lb golden potatoes diced into small dice
- 3/4 cup cashew sour cream (see recipe below)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 bunch fresh dill roughly chopped
- 5 cups water
- S & P to taste
Cashew Sour Cream
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
- Preheat a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat. Add a light drizzle of olive oil (or a splash of water) and sautee the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent. (Aprox 5 minutes or so.) Add the grated carrot and celery and cook until they begin to soften, another 5 minutes.1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery
- Add the diced potatoes, bay leaves, pickling juice and water (or veggie stock) and bring to a simmer. Season with a good pinch of salt and cook until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the diced pickles and fresh dill.1 cup Polish dill pickles (or cornichons), 1/2 cup pickle juice / brine, 1 lb golden potatoes, 2 bay leaves, 5 cups water, S & P to taste, 1/2 bunch fresh dill
- Discard the bay leaf and stir in 1/3 cup of the sour cream. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Add more sour cream if desired.3/4 cup cashew sour cream
- Serve warm or cold with extra sour cream on the side and a pinch of chili flakes for heat.
Make the Sour Cream
- Soak the cashews in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a powerful blender together with the lemon juice and water. Process until silky smooth. (Depending on the type of blender you are using you might want to add an extra splash of water to keep things running smooth if need be).1 cup raw cashew pieces, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup water
WFPB. + Plantricious
- For compliance make sure to sautéed the aromatics in water or broth and refrain from adding any oil or butter. The homemade cashew sour cream above is oil-free and compliant but keep in mind that the store bought brands usually are not.
- Grate the Carrot - I insist on the grating element here! Not only does it add body and naturally thicken the soup but it lends it that beautiful golden hue of a veggie stock that has simmered all day long. I only used water here (no stock) and the flavor turned out lovely.
- Pickle Juice - The liquid from the jar of dill pickles is an important souring agent of the soup. You want to add it early on so the potatoes and aromatics get cooked in it and absorb all that deep flavor. Don't omit it!
- Fresh Dill - It must be fresh and lots of it. The recipe calls for half a bunch, I usually add that into the soup and serve the other half on the side with extra sour cream. Hold off till you remove the soup from heat to add it as it is a mild herb.
- Dairy Free Sour Cream - I included our favorite homemade cashew sour cream recipe below. It's health conscious and made without oil or butter but totally delivers the flavor and texture we are after. Alternatively you could use your favorite store bought brand.
- Variation - Use a small leek instead of onion and add a handful of chopped tomatoes into the mix. Go wild!
- Storage - This soup keeps well in the fridge up to a week and it can even be frozen in airtight lidded containers for up to 4 months. Thaw out in the refrigerator and enjoy cold or reheat on the stovetop.
Would using a vegan vegetable broth be ok instead of water? Would it change the flavor too much. Thanks
Sure you can use veggie broth if you like, I was just trying to save you a couple of bucks as the soup is already so flavorful from all the aromatics. Enjoy!
What a great recipe for my soup file. Never thought pickles in soup made sense but wow I am loving the sour flavors here a lot, it’s like a potato salad in soup form.. absolutely delish! Thank you for sharing your recipe and the great tip about the grated carrot, the color of my soup is golden and gorgeous 😍
I adore your recipes, but this one needs a major correction. Polish pickle soup would NEVER be made of cornichons. The very essence of this soup is the pickle, or rather cucumbers in brine – no Polish soup can be made of vinegary pickle – it MUST be cucumber in brine. You can buy them in Polish supermarkets, online, or Jewish brands such as batampte or bubbies sometimes have them – these “pickles” are not truly pickled, but rather fermented in brine. So – only water and salt. Never vinegar. It’s very important for the flavor of this soup. I am all for tweaking it, and love the vegan touches you add, but this needs to sty true to the main driving flavor – cucumbers in brine. NO VINEGAR. Please pick up a jar and see for yourself – just read the ingredients list and it cannot include vinegar, only water and salt. I promise you will discover the true flavor and love it. Also, “ZUPA” in Polish has only one “p”. Again, thanks for your creative recipes, I’m enjoying them a lot. But ogorkowa must stay true to ogorkowa please 🙂
One of the best recipes ever! I used dill pickles and cornichons and and added brine from both and it was fantastic! Thank you for sharing!
I am so happy you loved it so much! It makes my day ~ Florentina Xo’s
What do I use if I can’t find cornichon pickles?
Use any dill pickles you love or classic Polish pickles in brine.Report back!