Polish Christmas Mushroom Soup {Zupa Grzybowa Wigilijna}

The difference between Christmas mushroom soup [zoo-pah g-rzyh-boh-vah vee-gee-leey-nah] and “regular” mushroom soup is that Christmas mushroom soup is vegetarian. As a matter of fact, all 12 dishes served at Polish Christmas Eve dinner are meatless or made with fish (we don’t consider fish meat). The 12 dishes represent the 12 Apostles and mark the beginning of Christmas festivities with the most important dinner of this holiday. As soon as the first star is spotted on a dark December night sky, we’re ready to share the opłatek (a thin wafer, resembling a communion wafer) wishing each other good health, happiness and good fortune. After that we proceed to the table filled with steaming soups, pierogi, herring, and more.

The 12 dishes may vary from home to home. My family mainly eats only beetroot broth with mushroom-filled dumplings, but many families opt for a small portion of wild mushroom soup instead, and some do both. Only a small portion of either soup will be served, to save room for the remaining 11 dishes. 

Wild mushroom soup is a clear soup, nothing but mushrooms in it. Broth is bold and mushroomy, and lightly creamy.

Polish Christmas Mushroom Soup {Zupa Grzybowa Wigilijna}

  • Yields: 5-6 small servings
  • Prep Time: 4hrs + 5 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 1 oz / 30 g / 1 cup of dried wild mushrooms*
  • 1.5 cups of water for soaking
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth (or 6 cups of water and the next 4 ingredients)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 of celery root
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1 parsnip
  • 6 allspice and peppercorns - whole
  • 3 bayleaves
  • Salt (careful if using broth that may contain salt already)
  • 2 tbs of butter
  • 2 tbs of heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Soak wild mushrooms overnight or at least 4 hours.

  2. Next day, place mushrooms with the water they were soaking in medium pot. Add broth (or water and vegetables), spices and a pinch of salt. Boil covered on low for 30 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

  3. When wild mushrooms are cooked strain everything out, reserve the liquid broth. Discard the vegetables (or save to make a Polish vegetable salad), and once the mushrooms cool, dice them and return to broth.

  4. Add cream and heat through. Taste, add salt, if needed and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper. Finish by adding butter for extra flavor.

Notes

This soup develops more flavor with time. It will taste a 100% better the next day.

Will you be cooking it this Christmas? Happy cooking and tasting!

Much love,

Anna

* I like this mixture of wild mushrooms as it reminds me very much of mushrooms picked in Poland.

 

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