Zosia's dill pickle soup
8 c. chicken stock or broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
2 c. peeled, cubed potatoes
1 c. thinly sliced celery
5 coarsely grated Polish dill pickles (from the jar)
1/2 c. milk
2 T. flour
5 T. sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
finely chopped fresh dill (optional)
In a large saucepan or soup pot with cover, combine chicken stock, bouillon, carrots, potatoes and celery. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook covered, over low heat, til potatoes start to get soft (about 10 minutes). Do not over cook. Add pickles and continue cooking about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, beat milk and flour til smooth and stir in a small amount of the hot soup (to temper) and add to soup. Bring to the boil and cook til slightly thickened. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, beat egg with sour cream til smooth and stir in a small amount of the hot soup. Add to soup and stir til smooth. Keep soup warm but DO NOT BOIL (the soup will curdle). Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley and dill.
(makes 10 servings)
Dave's cold-packed Polish dill pickles
4 lb Pickling cucumbers
8 ea dill heads
6 ea cloves of garlic (or more)
8 c water
2 c white vinegar
1/2 c pickling salt
1/2 t crushed red pepper, up to 3 t
2 t whole mustard seed, up to 4 t
1 t alumm, optional
Wash and dry the cucumbers; prick a few holes in each with a fork, or quarter them lengthwise. Peel and break the garlic cloves. It is easiest to cut the cloves with a sharp knife into thin slices or small chunks.
Place half of the dill heads in the bottom of a clean 1-gallon jar. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and mustard seed. Pack loosely with cucumber and top with the remaining dill. Refrigerate while preparing brine.
Combine water, vinegar, and salt in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, then cool to room temperature. Pour the cooled brine over the cucumbers, making sure they are covered. Screw a lid on the jar and store in the fridge for about 4 - 6 weeks before serving. If you've quartered the cucumbers instead of leaving them whole, they will be ready somewhat sooner (two or three weeks instead).
Ingredients can also be divided between four 1-quart widemouth jars. It is it more convenient to make a gallon jar batch (takes less of a footprint in the refrigerator) and then divide up the pickles later into separate jars when they're ready to eat. (That frees up the jar for the next batch, too)
Options and modifications
A great garlic pickle results from deletion of the dill heads. The dill heads are not necessary for an excellent pickle.
The addition of a small amount of alum (1 tsp.) makes a marked improvement in the flavor of the pickles. I recommend the addition highly.
For hot dill pickles, increase the pepper flakes to 2 or 2 1/2 tsp. Cut the cucumbers in 1 inch slices instead of length wise for identification purposes.
This pickle has a pronounced mustard flavor when pickling is complete. Reduce the mustard seed to 2 tsp if desired. This produces a pickle closer to those found in the stores.
The following can be added. 6 to 8 whole pepper corns, 3 to 4 mace heads and 1/2 tsp. whole corriander. Other spices can be used. Do not use pickling spice.