"Krupnik? My mother used to cook it, and I hated it." My Polish friend Michal said to me when I was asking him about this Polish tradition.
Krupnik is thick soup, traditionally made from meat or vegetable broth, with potatoes and barley groats as the main ingredients. Other ingredients include carrot, celery, parsley, leek, onion and mushrooms etc. I first learned to make it when I was still living in China. I just got a bag of whole barley and had no idea how to eat them. I happened to read about this dish in a Polish cookbook (in English of course!), so I decided to give it a try.
I ended up loving it! I invited Michal to try mine and asked what he thought.
"Not too bad. I still don't like barley that much, but at least if my mom cook it this way I would eat it." Michal said. I took it as a positive comment from someone who truly hates the dish. 😉
Kitchen Gadgets: Pot
½ red onion
3 medium sized potatoes
10 cremini mushrooms
1 cup barley
1ltr vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Cut the potatoes into chunks, cube the carrot, remove the stems from mushrooms and slice them, slice the onion.
2. Turn on the medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil into the pot, add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes.
3. Add the carrot and potatoes and sauté for 2 minutes.
4. Add the vegetable stock into the pot, stir to mix.
5. Add 1 cup barley. From now on you have to constantly stir the ingredients; if barley sinks to the bottom of the pot it can easily get burnt. Cook for 20 minutes, when you’re not stirring it, put the lid on.
6. Add the mushrooms, and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and season with sea salt.
7. Serve with freshly ground black pepper, enjoy!
I like to eat barley al dente, but if you prefer it soft, increase the time in step 6 to between 15 and 25 minutes, checking the consistency regularly.