Polish Fermented Ryemeal Soup

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Sourdough starter for a soup:

  • Ingredients
  • 500 ml warm water
  • 1 cup of rye flower or wholemeal wheat flower
  • A slice of crust from rye bread (ideally made of sourdough)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, 2 bayleaf,  3 allspice berries (fruit of Pimenta)

Mix together flour and water, add garlic, allspice and bayleaf.  Cover the dish with a cloth (i.e muslin cloth) and leave it in a warm place for about 3 days. The sourdough starter can be added to the meat/chicken broth or vegetable bulion and seasoned to be served as a soup.  Sourdough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Buckwheat or rice flower can be used as an alternative for those who are on gluten free diet. The taste will differ slightly but the principle remains the same.

Ingredients for broth: 

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 3 chicken wings, 2 chicken thighs or any other parts (carcass, chicken legs) (you can also use beef bones to create a stronger flavour)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 leek
  • 1 parsley
  • Half celery
  • A small bag of dry porcini or other type of ceps
  • 3 bayleaf
  • 3 allspice
  • 2/3 tablespoons of dry majeran
  • Salt and pepper 

Peel vegetables. Over a low heat fry onions and garlic together until softened, add meat and vegetables,  add about 2 litres of water until all vegetables and meat are covered in the pot. Add bayleaf, allspice, salt and pepper. Let it simmer on the low heat for about half an hour, add dry ceps (porcini) and simmer for an further hour until vegetables and wild mushrooms are soft and the meat cooked. Add Sourdough and majeran,  stir together. Let it cook for further half an hour on a low heat. 

Sieve the soup through a colander and garnish the broth with boiled eggs and watercress.  If you wish you may also add some of the chicken meat cooked in the broth. 



probiotic goodness which can be added to our cooking:

This soup contains bacteria which helps to break down carbohydrates in our gut producing lactic acid as part of the fermentation process, which is then converted into cellular energy.  Lactic acid bacteria refers to the large group of beneficial bacteria used in food supplements (probiotic) to support and benefit our gut health. This soup is also rich in vitamin B complex and fibre.  Bacterial fermentation also helps to break down Phytic acid (considered as an anti-nutrient component) contained in bran part of wheat grain which allows better absorption of mineral components including: iron, zink, magnesium and copper.

Gluten-free fermented sourdough for a soup:

  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour or 1 cup of ground (not roasted|) buckwheat 
  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 3 bayleaf
  • 10 black pepper corns

Put the flour into a big jar or fermenting crock. Slowly pour in the warm water and mix with a wooden spoon to avoid forming flour lumps. Add squeezed garlic, allspice berries, bayleaf and pepper. Stir it together.  Cover the dish with a cloth (ideally muslin cloth). Place a dish in a warm place for 5 days. Keep stirring the mixture at least once daily during the next 5 days. After 5 days the sourdough is ready to be added to the soup (the same principle as a ryemeal version) or it can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Magdalena Marvell