Polish Pearl Barley Soup {Krupnik}

“Krupa” is an old name for pearl barley, hence the name: “krupnik” = soup made of krupa. This is a very simple and cheap Polish soup, for busy chefs, who may not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen or prefer doing other things. I prefer cooking to doing other things 🙂  but sometime it’s nice to relax, have a cold beverage and enjoy time with friends and family. With the weather warming up here in Pennsylvania (on and off 😉 ) quick dinner recipes will come in handy.

We ate a lot of soups growing up. Tomato soup, pickle soup, chicken soup, cauliflower soup, sauerkraut soup… you name it. With a little creativity and a lot of limitations as far as access to ingredients Poles became very creative with their food. A few simple but bold and flavorful components, most from the garden and possibilities are endless. Our pallets formed around those flavors over the years and the distinct aromas of each of those soups became so defined in our flavor memory, that making and eating them even years and years later takes us back. I know sometimes I find myself closing my eyes while I eat, let smells and flavors combine in my head and I feel like I’m sitting at my grandma’s kitchen… until someone says something and snaps me back to reality 🙂

Polish Pearl Barley Soup, traditional and simple Polish soup.

Krupnik is a relatively thick and mild savory soup, with the main flavor component coming from pearl barley; potatoes, carrots and parsley add a delicate sweetness, texture and color.

Polish Pear Barley Soup {Krupnik}

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min


  • 2 quarts of vegetable or meat stock (or leftover chicken soup)
  • 1/2 cups of pear barley
  • 1 large carrot
  • 5 small potatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4-5 allspice, whole
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbs of butter


  1. Bring stock to boil. Add peeled and chopped carrot and cubed potatoes, bay leaves and all spice. Add a teaspoon of salt (if the stock is unsalted). Boil for 15 minutes, until vegetables are soft and barley cooked.

  2. Turn off, taste. Add more salt, if needed. Sprinkle with pepper and parsley. Add butter and stir. Serve.


As soup sits it will thicken. Add more stock, if too thick.


Please comment below and share your story of eating Polish krupnik, or other soups.