Lizzi Tremayne is here today with some “Old World” flavors and a tantalizing look at her book A Long Trail Rolling. I love rye and can’t wait to give this one a try!
Suddenly hungry, her heart and body craving succour, Aleksandra reached for the zakwas sour rye culture and started a pot of żurek. Like the wheaten sourdough starter other pioneers in the West used to leaven their biscuits and breads, zakwas gave żurek, the traditional Polish comfort food, a unique taste when stewed with grilled kielbasa, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, and sour cream. Nibbling at crispy shreds of the aromatic sausage as it cooked, she sighed with pleasure and began to smile again.
This hearty stew, typical of the ‘sour’ soups common and beloved by many Eastern Europeans, is my favorite soup. It is well worth the time it takes to make it. Thank you to the Glinkowski family, third generation owners of Glinkowski Carriages, for sharing with us their love of Poland and Żurek. After leaving them, we tasted different versions of it in every town we visited around Polska.
Sourdough Rye Starter Culture
2 c rye flour
1 c oat flakes
4 c water, boiled and cooled to room temperature
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 T sourdough starter or 1 crust from piece of Polish rye bread