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Krupnik - soup to eat with rye bread, onion rolls, pumpernickel, etc.

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Krupnik - soup to eat with rye bread, onion rolls, pumpernickel, etc.

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) with Krupnik

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) with Krupnik

 Krupnik is an Eastern European beef and barley soup that is a meal in itself, with some good rye bread. There are many versions. Mine is an old family recipe, although I have seen almost identical versions in Jewish cookbooks. Unlike the version Floyd makes, mine is strictly meat - no milk products, since it is a Jewish version. I know that it has been altered somewhat from generation to generation, depending mostly on the tastes of family members. The version I will give is as close to that my maternal grandmother made as I can remember.

Recipe for Krupnik

  •  1 lb lean chuck trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 carrots cut into 1 inch long pieces
  • 2 stalks celery cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried brown lentils
  • 2/3 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup dried baby lima beans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried navy beans (optional)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice.  (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper, but each person can add this at the table to personal preference.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water to cover ingredients by 2 inches. Plan on adding more as barley and lentils swell to achieve a thick but not solid final consistency. 
Notes on ingredients
  • When I was a child, I hated beans in this soup, so, for many years my mother omitted them. My tastes changed as an adult, and I now put them in. 
  • My grandmother used a variety of cuts of beef, often short ribs. As we have tried to cut down on fat in our diet, I began using top chuck.
  • My wife's grandmother made krupnik with lamb rather than beef. We have made it this way many times, using lamb neck, and it is equally delicious.
  • Many recipes also add some dried porcini/cepes. I love mushroom-barley soup, but I don't put mushrooms in krupnik.
  • My wife likes krupnik with some tomato, so we now usually add a small can of coarsely chopped tomatoes. This is definitely not traditional, however.
Procedure
  1. Trim and cube chuck and place in a 8-10 quart soup pot. Add 3 quarts of water. Bring to a gentle boil and skim any scum that rises to the surface. 
  2. Turn the fire down to achieve a steady simmer and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. While the meat is simmering, cut up the onion, carrots and celery (and optional potato) and measure out the other ingredients.
  4. After the meat has simmered for 1 hour, add all the other ingredients and additional water, as needed.
  5. Cook at a steady simmer, stirring frequently for 1-2 hours until the beans are completely cooked and the meat is very tender. Add water to thin it if the soup is getting too thick. When thick, it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot if not stirred very frequently.
  6. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  7. Serve with  rye or pumpernickel or other bread of your choice. 
This soup is even better the next day, but you almost always have to add more water as you re-heat it. It also freezes well.  Enjoy!  David 

 

KansasGirlStuckInMaryland's picture
KansasGirlStuck...

David,

 I have decided that you are just an evil person sent to destroy my diet, although after consideration this recipe looks pretty darn healthy, so I guess you can't be all that evil :-).

 I love nothing better in the winter time as a bowl of hot delicious soup.  This recipe gets tried in the next couple of weeks.

I made Norm's Onion Rolls this weekend for the first time (WOW are they good!!!) and I can just imagine eating a couple of those with a bowl of Krupnik.  One to dunk during the bowl and one to wipe the bowl clean at the end.

 Anne

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I made Norm's onion rolls last night and had them with the second half of our pot of krupnik. Your imagination does not fail you: it was heavenly!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Another baker-onion-roll-addict!

I nominate this bread for listing among the "favorite recipes."


David

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Yes, I'm in the process of getting my pictures together. I am thinking I'll put a meta-post on the front page that will point to as many of our onion roll posts as I can find. And, yes, I should add it to the favs.

Eli's picture
Eli

Members of the House. I will second Mr David's motion on the floor! I am making them this Thursday, a demand performance for a cookout!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Anne.

If you are concerned about your health, do what I do. Drink a glass of red wine with your soup. ;-)


David

josordoni's picture
josordoni

Nomnomnom as they say.

 David, do you have a family recipe for gulyash soup by any chance?  I keep meaning to try that  - I have had it in Germany and it is so delish, and the weather is starting to get colder now, so soups will be back on the back of the stove again.

 If I take out the beef from your Krupnik, it is not dissimilar to my basic winter soup - I call it "bottom of the fridge" soup, as it is designed to use up any and all oddments of veg left in the bottom of the fridge.  So long as the essentials of onion, celery, carrot and lentils a shake of dried thyme and a can of chopped tomatoes are there, everything else is subject to whim or need...I shall have to try it with meat sometimes as well.

 Lynne

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Lynne.

Sorry. I don't have a recipe for gulyash soup. Maybe some one else will contribute one.

I would say that the essential ingredients that make my version of Krupnik what it is are the combination of onion, carrots, celery, meat, lentils and barley. Although, my wife has made a vegetarian version that she likes.


David

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Lynne, I'm sure you can find one now, google under goulash soup. There are so many recipes, gosh!

HERE IS ONE 

Mine starts with lots of almost browned onions (deglaze pan with dash of non-dill pickle juice) beef cubes and lots of beef broth, sweet deep dark red Hungarian paprika, fresh or frozen majoram, whole caraway and bayleaves, crushed black pepper, and maybe a carrot and chunks of potato. The closer you get to Hungary, the better the soup.  Add potatoes after boiling soup at least 30 minutes so paprika can mellow.   The onions make the soup thick, no flour.  For a thicker soup rasp a potato into it and allow to cook.  

Serve piping hot with a bread basket of sliced rye, kaiser rolls or a french stick.

Mini O

josordoni's picture
josordoni

Thanks Mini!

Yes there are plenty of recipes about, but I do like to get ones that are tried and tested - then I can meddle with them and make them mine. 

As people have normally done just the same thing to their own family recipes, it is very interesting to see what goes into a family favourite, rather than a recipe book basic.

I shall try yours and report back!

 

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Your krupnik looks excellent.

I've never tried adding beans or lentils to it. I'll have to try that next time.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I like your Krupnik recipe David. I'm guessing the lentils are a key factor in thickening. The lamb sounds like a good variation also. I notice you don't mention browning the meat first. Is there a specific reason you don't?

This will be on my short list of soups/stews to try. Thank you for sharing.

Eric 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.

I have never browned the meat for soups, as opposed to stews/braises. Note that there is no added fat in this recipe.

BTW, the proportion of meat is low. A bowl of krupnik might have 2 or 3 pieces of meat. It's mostly veggies and barley. The meat should be so soft you can cut it with the spoon.

"Top chuck" is the meat I prefer, if I can find it. It is more soft and less stringy than "regular" chuck roast. It cooks faster and has a soft consistency, without identifiable fibers - somewhat like filet mignon. It also has much less fat than chuck, yet is subjectively less "dry" than most stew meats when well-cooked. It is excellent for braising, too. I like it for chili colorado, beef daubes,etc.

And, as it is, I have "refined" the recipe and introduced a couple of steps my grandmother never took, as far as I can recall. She just threw everything in the pot all at the same time and boiled it. I cook the meat for a while first so the meat is very tender and the other ingredients are not over-cooked. By the second day, everything is falling apart. Not that that is so bad. The skimming is strictly optional.

I'm glad you mentioned the thickening. The lentils play a small role. The thickening is mostly from the barley and the potato, if you add it. If you prefer to keep the soup thinner, rinse the barley very well, as you might with basmati rice, to get some of the starch off the grains.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks for the clarification on this. I'll try it your way. I tend to like a thicker almost stew like soup but everyone else here prefers a thinner (cleaner ) flavor, so that's how I usually prepare them. I get my way the second day :>) .

Eric 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David,
After reading your recipe for Krupnik, I was intrigued by the combination of beans and beef. I ran out today and picked up some chuck steak which was the closest to top I could find. I used a little more than 1.4 pounds after cleaning it up. I followed your recipe pretty much verbatim except I used beef stock instead of water and I didn't add potato or Navy Beans.

You picture looks like a darker broth and I'm guessing that's the lentil were not brown but "regular".

This is a very nice soup David. We all enjoyed the flavor and it's quite healthy. As you say the meat was falling apart and the broth was bursting with flavor. We had about half a loaf of the rye from the weekend which was a perfect complement.

Thank you my friend for sharing this family recipe.

Eric 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm glad you liked the krupnik!

Most often, I make it thick enough that there is not really any "broth." It is more like porrige.

The lentils are a greenish-brown uncooked and a darker brown cooked. They are indeed what I regard as "regular" lentils.

Krupnik may or may not be "healthy." It is definitely good for my soul. It is, along with chicken broth with matzo meal latkes, my winter comfort food.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David,
Chicken broth and Matzo Ball soup is one of the best things on Earth, IMHO. The largest grocer in the Midwest doesn't know about this product so I have to find it in stores that cater to Jewish clientèle. I buy the Matzo Ball mix 6 at a time it's such a favorite here. I really should learn to make it from scratch. Over the years I have been tuning my chicken stock/broth for improved flavor. There is a Chinese restaurant near here that has the best broth I have ever had. I've been eating there for years and little by little I'm learning how to develop the flavor. It's a pleasurable work in progress.

This post is totally off topic, sorry. I can't help myself when it comes to good food.

Eric 

This Day's picture
This Day

We had matzo ball soup last night, and it's one of our favorite cold-weather treats.  We live in the Midwest and can buy matzo meal at several grocery stores.  The label says it's just flour and water, so it probably wouldn't be difficult to make matzo crackers from scratch.  Once we were out of matzo meal and I used crushed soda crackers for the "matzo" balls.  I thought they were great, but spouse didn't care for them because the soda in the crackers made them lighter than the unleavened matzo balls. 

Whenever I poach a chicken breast I reduce the poaching water to about half a cup and freeze it.  I use these frozen broths when we have matzo ball soup.