Krupnik - soup to eat with rye bread, onion rolls, pumpernickel, etc.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn the fire down to achieve a steady simmer and simmer for 1 hour.
- While the meat is simmering, cut up the onion, carrots and celery (and optional potato) and measure out the other ingredients.
- After the meat has simmered for 1 hour, add all the other ingredients and additional water, as needed.
- 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.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Serve with rye or pumpernickel or other bread of your choice.