Zurek is a traditional Polish soup known for its unique sour taste, which comes from fermented rye flour (żurek or sourdough starter). It’s a hearty, comforting soup typically enjoyed during Easter, but it’s also popular throughout the year.


For the Sour Rye Starter (Żurek):

  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 allspice berries

For the Soup:

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 pound Polish white sausage (biała kiełbasa), sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: marjoram for seasoning
  • Optional: hard-boiled eggs, sliced for serving


To Make the Sour Rye Starter (3-5 days in advance):

  1. In a jar, mix the rye flour with warm water until well combined. Add the crushed garlic, bay leaves, and allspice berries.
  2. Cover the jar with a cloth and let it ferment at room temperature for 3-5 days. Stir the mixture daily. It’s ready when it has a distinct sour smell and small bubbles.

To Make the Soup:

  1. In a large pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the sliced white sausage and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a skillet, sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic until translucent and fragrant. Add this to the pot.
  3. Add the diced potatoes to the pot and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Stir in about 1 cup of the sour rye starter (żurek). Simmer for another 5-10 minutes. The starter will thicken and sour the soup.
  5. Reduce the heat and slowly stir in the sour cream. Avoid boiling the soup after adding the sour cream to prevent curdling.
  6. Season the soup with salt, pepper, and marjoram (if using).
  7. Serve the soup hot. Optionally, add a slice of hard-boiled egg to each bowl.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 250-300
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Protein: 12g

Prep and Cooking Time

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus 3-5 days for the sour rye starter)
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes


  • Serves: 6 people

Zurek is a quintessential Polish soup with a unique flavor profile that is both sour and savory. The creamy texture and rich ingredients make it a filling and satisfying dish, perfect for cold days or festive occasions. Enjoy this traditional Polish delicacy with your family and friends!

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