Polish Sour Mushroom Soup Recipe
Sour Mushroom Soup is a Christmas Eve Tradition
Families of all nationalities have traditional holiday foods, and these traditions are carried on from one generation to the next. In my family, we celebrated Christmas Eve with my Polish grandparents. Many family members gathered together for the traditional meal which was followed by exchanging gifts. Later in the night, most of the family members went together to Christmas Eve midnight mass, often coming home for another round of coffee and Christmas cookies.
Christmas Day was also a celebration in our household as the children received their gifts from Santa and their Christmas stockings on Christmas morning, but it was Christmas Eve dinner with it's traditional foods that was the main event of the holiday season for us.
When my Grandmother was directing the event, the dinner included many courses: soup, fish, sauerkraut with lima beans, klelbasa, and pierogies. For desert homemade babka with sweet butter and Christmas cookies were served with coffee and punch.
Christmas Eve cooking began in the early morning as we gathered to make pirogies with five different fillings. Later in the afternoon, other dishes were prepared including a wonderful Sour Mushroom Soup that was served at the start of the meal.
This soup is a favorite of my husband (who doesn't like mushroom, by the way) and my grandson, so when I make it, I always plan for extra to serve later in the week.
Cooking traditional foods is often passed down through the generations and is done by taste and experience rather than by a written recipe.
Polish Mushroom Soup Recipe
Many wonderful cooks from around the world cook by taste and experience rather than by measurements and written instructions. My mother and grandmother were from that school of cooking, so getting a written recipe was not an easy task. The recipe below is a combination of their verbal instructions and my own ad-libing. I believe that the soup is very close to the one my grandmother made for Christmas Eve dinner.
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly (my mother used dried mushrooms)
- 1 pkgs. of dry Mushroom and Onion soup mix (I use Lipton's)
- 2 quarts of water
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of butter
- 2 chopped onions
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 2 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup sour cream
Instructions for Sour Mushroom Soup
In a large soup pot, add the dried soup mix to 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Mix in the vinegar, starting with a 1/4 cup and adding more according to taste. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes while you fry the onions and mushrooms.
Fry the chopped onion in 3 or 4 tablespoons of butter until it's golden. Scrape into stock pot and fry the sliced mushrooms in another 4 tablespoons of butter. When the mushrooms are cooked, add to the stock pot with any juices in the pan. Salt and pepper to taste.
Let this mixture simmer on the back of the stove to blend flavors. Although it doesn't really have to be cooked much longer, we usually make this a few hours ahead of time so that we can do other last minute chores.
Heat the soup to boiling point. In a separate small bowl, whisk egg and gradually add 2 or 3 ladles full of hot soup, whisking constantly. Pour the soup/egg mixture into the hot soup in the pot and stir together bringing it back to a boil, then turn back heat to a very low simmer. Taste and add salt, pepper or more vinegar if needed.
Just before serving, whisk a ladle of hot soup with the sour cream, and then stir the mixture back into the soup. Keep soup warm, but do not boil the soup again. (When reheating the soup later, if you accidentally do boil it, it may curdle a little, but that won't affect the flavor.)
Serve soup with a dollop of mashed potatoes that have been mixed with salt, pepper, butter, and some friend onions. We always have extra mashed potatoes left from our pierogie filings, and just reheat them for the soup. I always have to remind everyone that there's more food coming up or they would make a meal out of this!
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
© 2010 Stephanie Henkel