Zalewajka (Potato Soup)

‘Zalewajka’ is a traditional village soup. It comes from Lodz, from my region. Because the soup is so specific for central Poland, it might be not known in other regions. So, don’t be put off if you ask about ‘Zalewajka’ a Polish person and they don’t know it. ‘Zalewajka’ has long traditions in my family and neighbourhood. It’s one of these rich and filling soups, cooked traditionally for working in fields farmers, and now just for hungry and hard-working men

Prep time: 20 minutes, easy
Cook time: 70 minutes
Serves: 6


Bottle of ‘Zur’ or ‘Zurek’ (ask in Polish Shops)*
4-5 cloves of garlic
8-10 mid size potatoes
2 bay leaves
3-4 grain of allspice
White sausage (6 pieces), alternatively 500g smoked bacon or smoked sausages
1 large onion or two small
100g smoked bacon
2 tablespoons marjoram
1-2 handfuls of dried mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
2-3 tablespoon flour
Salt and black pepper for taste
2-3 tablespoons sour cream (ask in Polish Shops for ‘Cream 12%’)

*You can make ‘Zur’ by yourself: into a glass bowl put 300g of flour, shredded and mixed with little salt 4 cloves of garlic, a small piece of a slice of ray bread, and pour 500 ml water. Mix them all together and put aside for 3-4 days. Then you can pour it into a bottle and keep in a fridge up to two weeks.
 *bottle of 'Zurek' from a shop

1.     Soaked dry mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes, then wash them.

2.     Peel potatoes, wash them and chopped into small cubes.
3.     Boil water in a stockpot and put whole sausages or bacon (leave a small piece of bacon for later), add soaked mushrooms, garlic and marjoram. Cook them all for about 15 minutes.

4.     Put potatoes into the pot.
5.     When potatoes are soft, pour whole bottle of ‘Zur’ into the stockpot. Cook the soup for about 15-20 minutes.
6.     While the soup is cooking, pre-heat oil on a frying pan, chop onion into fin slices and the rest of bacon into thin pieces or cubes. 

      Fry them for a while. Add some butter onto the frying pan and melt it.

7.     When the butter melts, add some flour and mix them all together.

8.     Take sausages or bacon out of the pot. Add the onions, bacon, butter and flour from the frying pan into the stockpot and mix them into the soup. Make sure it’s well mixed and not lumpy, I usually use a whisker to make the soup smooth and thin.

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