Krupnik Polski

A filling barley and vegetable soup, Krupnik Polski (kroop-nick pol-skey) ideally is accompanied by black Polish bread.

The stock used in the recipe should be a very light one, so if you have a small quantity of rich chicken stock dilute it with water to the required amount.3 pints chicken stock

3 dried mushrooms, soaked for minutes, drained and cut into strips

8 oz. potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 carrot, scraped and chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon black pepper

6 oz. French beans, cleaned, tops and tails removed and cut into

2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon butter

2 oz. pearl barley

½ teaspoon salt

4 fl. oz. sour cream

½ teaspoon dried dill

In a large saucepan bring the stock, mushrooms, potatoes, carrot, parsley, chives and pepper to the boil over moderate heat. Cover the pan and simmer the stock for 30 minutes or until the potatoes and carrot are very tender. Stir in the beans.

In a small saucepan melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the barley and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the barley is transparent and glossy.

Add the barley and salt to the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the barley is plump and tender.

Taste the soup for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if required. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the sour cream and dill, and pour the soup into a warmed soup tureen. Serve immediately.

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