Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Krupnik (polish barley soup)
Hello everyone! As I promised, here you have the first post with a recipe, which is what I suppose you are interested in =) Maybe it can be interesting to read sometimes about other people's life, but if you don't get anything from it(for instance, a delicious and wonderful recipe =P), at the end you get tired. People need information, useful information (unless your life is sooooo interesting that is enough to entertain your readers, which I think is not my case )
This Christmas Holidays I have been in Prague and in Krakow with my cousin, her husband and some of their friends. They rented a cosy,and not as expensive as an hotel, duplex, and we lived there for a week. I only can say that I loved Krakow. If you compare it with Prague, maybe it's not as majestic, as amazing, but it has got something special: the Main Square, the crowded and full of shops streets of the centre or the quiet and charming streets of the old area, the Jewish quarter, the street traders selling Pretzels on every corner....The word to describe it would be cosy.
I am not going to describe all my travel, mainly because I have a lot to say. Explaining it all in one post would be tedious to read for the visitants and a waste of things to explain for me. Why explain all in one post when I could write at least a dozen of them? Instead, here you have a few photos ;)
Krakow has got many vegetarian restaurants and cafes, and I survived on their menus for one whole week. Nevertheless, I couldn't try any very typical polish dish, because the polish cuisine it's not an especially vegetarian one. In fact, it uses a lot of meet, usually pork, so the vegan dishes were not polish (one day I even ate Indian food). Because of it, I decided to find a recipe in internet and adapt it. The chosen dish was a soup called Krupnik . Polish eat a lot of soup because of the cold temperatures. Krupnik is a soup with barley, mushrooms, vegetables and chicken. Of course, I didn't use chicken: I substituted it for seitan. The main reason why I choose it is because I had almost all the ingredients on hand, and a lot of mushrooms getting limp in the fridge which I had to use.
Krupnik: polish barley soup
*I found a lot of versions of Krupnik, and they were all different. Finally, I chose the one from The Fresh Loaf and adapted it.
• 2 links of seitan sausages of seitan steaks. I used the Pumpkin (Sau)Sage from Have cake, will travel!, but you can use any. You can also try any other meat substitute. I don't buy that kind of things because they are expensive, but if a meat substitute with chiken flavour is available in your store, you give it a try.
• 2 carrots
• 2 stalks celery
• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
• 2/3 cup dried brown lentils
• 2/3 cup pearled barley
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 bay leaves
• 150 g. of mushrooms (wild mushrooms are better). You can also use dried mushroom, but you will have to soak them before. Reserve the soaking liquid!
• Water to cover ingredients (about 5 glasses of water) or stock
• A little bit of olive oil
• Chop all the vegetables and the seitan or meat substitute.
• Heat a casserole on medium heat and add the oil. Sauté the coarsely chopped onion one minute, add the seitan and cook one minute more, stirring (if you don't want to add oil, you can skip that step and add all the ingredients in the water directly)
• Add the celery, carrots and mushrooms. Cook one minute and add the barley and lentils.
• Cover with the water or stock, add the bay leave, a little bit of salt (only a little bit: it's better to add the salt at the middle of the cooking because the lentils will be more tender) and pepper.
• Simmer on very low heat during 1'30 hours or until the barley and lentils are soft. If you simmer on very low heat, the vegetables won't finish falling apart and the soup will have time to develop the flavours. In fact, 1’30 hours were not enough for me, and I had to simmer ir 20 minutes more.
• Serve with rye or sourdough bread and fresh or dried dill on top.