A traditional Eastern European favorite, this hearty Dill Pickle Soup has a rich potato base studded with the tangy crunch of cucumber. Creamy, filling and packed with flavor, it’s a tried and tested classic that any pickle fan will love.
Creamy Homemade Pickle Soup
This dill pickle soup is hearty and filling, which makes it the perfect meal when you’re looking to warm yourself up. Great for lunch after a morning spent shoveling snow or dinner after wearing yourself out on the ski slopes, this soup hits the spot any time of the day, especially in the colder months. Served hot and fresh off the stove, grabbing a bowl of this soup is the best way to bring the feeling back into your fingers.
This recipe isn’t just for the wintertime, though. It’s packed with flavor and has the simple, rustic charm of every classic comfort food. Enjoy it any time you need a pick-me-up.
What Exactly Is Dill Pickle Soup?
Dill pickle soup is a classic recipe popular in Eastern Europe. Its other name, zupa ogorkowa, comes from the Polish words for… well, pickle and soup! Traditionally served in the winter, it uses a few of the foods people had on hand when the fresh foods were gone and the harvest was still months away. It’s a potato-based soup that uses chicken broth, pickles, and the brine from the pickle jar.
Starring potatoes and pickles, the ingredients for zupa ogorkowa have a long shelf life and are easy to come by in the wintertime. Check out the recipe card to see the exact amounts you’ll need for each item.
- Chicken Broth: Use low-sodium chicken broth to offset the salt in the pickles. You can always add more salt to the soup if needed.
- Potatoes: Cubed russet potatoes work well for this recipe.
- Carrots: Diced or finely chopped.
- Dill Pickles: Chopped or diced.
- Butter: I recommend sticking with unsalted butter to offset the pickles.
- Flour: All-purpose flour helps to thicken the soup.
- Sour Cream: Full-fat sour cream will add extra creaminess to the soup.
- Dill Pickle Juice: It’s fine if you don’t have exactly 2 cups left over in the pickle jar you’re using.
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Salt: The soup may already be salty enough, so taste it first and add more only as needed.
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper: This optional ingredient adds a nice little kick of heat.
What Kind of Pickles Are Best?
If you want to go really traditional, any Polish grocery store near you should carry ogórki kiszone, or traditional Polish cucumbers in brine. These can also be found pretty easily online. If you’re adventurous and have some time, it’s also possible to make these traditional Polish pickles yourself. If those aren’t options for you, any dill pickle or deli pickle works. Just make sure you don’t accidentally grab sweet pickles.
How to Make Zupa Ogorkowa (Dill Pickle Soup)
This stovetop meal requires barely any prep and very little cleanup. Chop up your ingredients, grab a pot and a ladle, and you’re all set to go!
Soften the Root Veggies: Combine the chicken broth, potatoes, carrots and butter in a large pot. Bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
Add the Pickles: Add the diced pickles and let the soup continue to simmer over medium heat.
Thicken: Stir the flour, sour cream and water together in a medium-size mixing bowl until it makes a paste. Whisk the sour cream mixture vigorously into the soup 1 spoonful at a time. You may see small bits of flour clumping in the soup, but they will break down as the soup continues to cook.
Season: Add the pickle juice, Old Bay, salt (taste the soup first to see if it needs any salt after the addition of the pickle juice), black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Simmer and Serve: Simmer the soup for 5 more minutes, then remove it from the heat and serve it hot.
Tips for Success
This soup is simple, filling and flavorful. Follow these tips to make it perfect for you and your family.
- Go Easy on the Salt: This soup is naturally salted by the addition of the pickles and pickle juice. While you can add extra salt if you want to, consider leaving the salt shaker alone with this one. You can also try half-sour pickles for a milder, less briny flavor.
- Spice It Just Right: Leave out the cayenne pepper if you want to, or add a little extra to bump up the heat. You can also put hot sauce out on the table for anyone who wants a bigger kick.
- Go Gluten-Free: The only ingredient for this recipe that contains gluten is the flour for thickening. I used all-purpose flour, but you can also use half the amount of cornstarch for a gluten-free option.
There are so many ways to take this traditional soup to the next level! Try one of these quick additions to put your own spin on it.
- Bacon: Try crumbling in fully cooked bacon if you want to add a little protein to your soup.
- Chicken: Cooked and shredded chicken gives you a more hearty protein without the extra salt.
- Extra Veggies: Add some garlic for extra sharpness and fragrance. You can also try chopped celery to give your soup a little more body and some extra vitamins. And a bit of minced jalapeño is sure to brighten a spice lover’s day.
- Fresh Dill: If you want to really go wild with the dill flavor, chop up some fresh dill and add it to the pot.
- Allspice: This is the traditional secret ingredient in zupa ogorkowa, and it adds complexity to the dish. Just a few whole allspice berries or a pinch of allspice powder is all you need.
Pack a thermos full of soup to take to work or send to school for a warm and filling lunch. It’s also a great way to beat the high prices in the ski lodge cafeteria. If you’re eating it for dinner, serve your soup with bread and butter on the side, or pass out some Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls for dunking. Dill pickle soup also pairs nicely with some fresh greens, like something from this list of 40+ of the Best Salads.
Storage and Reheating
Keep any leftover soup in an airtight food storage container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat the soup in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, checking the temperature in between. You can also reheat it over the stove until it starts to bubble.
Can I Freeze This?
It’s possible to freeze dill pickle soup, but there’s a catch. To keep it from curdling, you have to freeze it before you add the flour, pickle juice and sour cream. You can freeze the unfinished soup for up to 3 months.
To finish it, allow the soup to thaw fully and then heat it on the stove. Add the flour, pickle juice and sour cream just as you would when making it fresh.
Dill Pickle Soup
- 5 1/2 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 2 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 carrots diced
- 1 cup diced dill pickles
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups dill pickle juice
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Add the diced pickles and allow the soup to continue to simmer over medium heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sour cream and water, to make a paste. Vigorously whisk the sour cream mixture into soup, a spoonful at a time. You may see small bits of flour clumps in the soup, but they will break down as the soup continues to cook.
- Add the pickle juice, Old Bay, salt (taste the soup first to see if it needs any salt after the addition of the pickle juice), black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Simmer the soup for 5 more minutes, then remove from the heat and serve hot.
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- To Store: Keep any leftover soup in an airtight food storage container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat: Reheat soup in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, checking the temperature in between, or over the stove until it starts to bubble.
- To Freeze: To prevent curdling, freeze before adding the flour, pickle juice and sour cream for up to 3 months. To finish, allow soup to thaw fully and then heat on the stove. Add flour, pickle juice and sour cream just as you would when making it fresh.