If you’ve never tried Polish Soup, you’ve been missing out! Soups in Poland are delicious, filling, and above all – comforting. A regular feature in Polish households, soup has been a central part of the Polish gastronomical scene for hundreds of years.
The result of years of perfecting is a flavorful, unexpected, and mouth-watering profile that you won’t taste anywhere else in the world. Unlike other Polish fun facts, the tasty soups in Poland is no hidden secret.
What’s Special about Soups in Poland
Soups in Poland are rich, nutritious, and perfect in colder weather – often eaten as a main meal! Polish soups usually contain a mixture of meats, grains, and fermented vegetables, which give the cuisine a signature tang. You’ll also find herbs like dill and thyme feature heavily in the cooking process, adding herbaceous and unique flavor profiles to the rich broths.
Soups in Poland aren’t just comfort foods – Polish people use soup as a health booster, particularly during cold weather. Packed full of vegetables and lean meat, soups like rosół and Zurek give a nutrient boost, as well as a good dose of healthy fats and protein.
Soups from Poland vary according to the region they hail from. Look for seafood broths near the Baltic Sea and thicker, grain-heavy stews in snowier areas like the Tatra mountains. Many seasonal Polish soups are sold in giant heavy vats in local markets during the festival season.
Here are some of the most popular soups in Poland – try some of these when you visit! Don’t forget to check out some of the key highlights in cities like Warsaw, Krakow and more.
Classic Polish Soups to Try
Probably the most popular soup in Poland, Rosół is favorite comfort food for children and is still loved by adults of all ages. Of all the soups in Poland, it will look most familiar to anyone interested in Polish cuisine.
Making Rosół is incredibly easy. Shredded chicken carcass boils down over long hours, creating a thick, rich base. Onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini, and whatever else you fancy are thrown in and simmered down, incorporating the flavors and making this soup deliciously comforting. Homemade noodles or (occasionally) dumplings are thrown in with the vegetables, absorbing the flavors for a juicy bite.
Rosół also makes an excellent base for other Polish soups, sauces, and stews. Polish families will often cook large vats of this national favorite, then freeze the leftovers for later use. If they need to use up leftovers, Rosół will sometimes accompany potatoes or old bread.
Pomidorowa z Ryzem
Now, this is one soup in Poland we can get behind! Pomidorowa, or ‘tomato soup with rice’ as this soup is known in Polish, is the unbeaten champion of home cooking. This simple Polish soup originated in Lower Silesia in the 17th century and has since become a comforting favorite at home and dining out.
Remember how we said that Rosół is used as a base for other Polish soups? Pomidorowa z Ryzem gets much of its rich, meaty taste from leftover Rosół from one or two days past. White rice or noodles absorb the flavor to make this Polish soup so delicious.
This is one of the soups in Poland that draws you back again and again.
There are two Krupniks in Polish culture – one is a delicious honey liqueur, and the other is an equally delicious creamy vegetable and grain soup. While both are great for warming you up from the inside out, we’re going to talk about the soup today.
With origins traced to the Tatra Mountain region, Krupnik soup is one of Poland’s oldest and most famous soups. Like a potato and leek soup in its texture, Krupnik gets its smokey taste from the fresh and spicy sausages that are cut up and cooked through with the vegetables.
This unique Polish soup is perfect for cold weather, as the starchy vegetables and grains help to keep you on a full belly while exploring the natural beauty of this great country.
Once again, Rosół saves the day with this classic Polish soup. Using leftover Rosół, add as many different vegetables as you can think of, some extra garlic, and simmer down for around 45 minutes to an hour. The soup is done once a gentle white foam appears around the edges of the pot.
Traditionally, Jarzynowa is a clear broth with vegetables and noodles floating and visible. If you prefer a more traditional, creamy texture, simply blend the cooked soup with a stick blender or in a food processor. Serve with fresh, warm bread and butter for the ultimate comfort food.
If you like split pea and ham soup, meet the Polish version! Grochowa may have humble roots as a peasant dish, but the flavors are delicious, rich, and smokey, thanks to the ribs simmering under the broth.
Dried peas are pan-fried with onions, garlic, bay leaves, and oil, then covered in bone broth and combined with salt and pepper. The ribs are added to this mixture and simmer away for hours or until the meat falls off the bone. Sometimes cream or sour cream are added to give the soup a more buttery taste.
This soup is straightforward to prepare, if not a little time-consuming. Unfortunately, the rich flavors and preparation time mean that Grochowa is usually only served around holidays or festive seasons.
A fun fact about this Poland soup: back in the Soviet era, this was known as army soup because of its cost and nutritional profile.
If we can say one thing about Polish people, they certainly love their dill. Unfortunately, this classic soup from Poland is rarely served in restaurants or cafes, but we guarantee features regularly at-home meals on weekends after church.
As with many Polish dishes, Ogorkowa centers around a pickled vegetable that gives a sweet, sour tang unlike any other. Any Polish person will tell you that the secret to a good Ogorkowa lies in the quality pickle – no dollar store versions here! Many families will make their own Kizone pickles, and so Ogorkowa tastes different in every house.
Cauliflower soup has become very popular in Western countries over the last few years because of its low-carb properties and versatility. Still, this pale cousin of broccoli has always been loved in Poland! Kalafiorowa, or cauliflower soup, showcases the best of this white vegetable’s herbaceous flavor. Onions, garlic, cauliflower, spices, carrots are fried and simmered together, then blended for a thick, creamy texture perfect with potatoes or dumplings.
For the best Kalafiorowa, make your base from – you guessed it – Rosół! Serve Kalafiorowa with chopped dill, but make sure not to add it until the end so that the flavor doesn’t diminish, and enjoy!
For more adventurous foodies, Flaki is just the word for tripe soup. Vegetarians, it’s probably best that you keep scrolling!
This uniquely flavored Polish soup is polarising, and people either love it or hate it. Spices and vegetables circle the star ingredient. The result is a rich, spicy, and almost bitter soup that will either blow your mind or upset your stomach – there is no in-between!
Traditionally, Flaki is served as part of a wedding menu. While this might seem like an odd choice for a special day, tripe is believed to bring good luck and vitality to a couple on their wedding. The rich flavors correlate to the richness of blessings to come.
It might seem strange, but the popularity of this traditional Polish soup has only risen over the last few years.
Flaki is also said to be a great hangover cure – if you can’t handle the idea of downing a bowl of this special Polish soup after too many Polish vodkas, we’re sure that bacon and eggs will do just the trick.
We said before that if there’s one thing that Polish people love, it’s dill. Well, here’s something they love more – sauerkraut! Kapuśniak is a rich, tangy soup with a warm, savory profile, perfect for colder weather. Every Polish region has its own version of this particular soup, but there seems to be one consensus – the more sauerkraut, the better!
Many Polish people will substitute the sauerkraut for freshly shredded cabbage during warmer weather. However, some still eat this unique Polish soup cold, or served over dumplings or cold-boiled potatoes.
If you’ve ever eaten borscht, this Poland soup will look familiar to you. Originating from Ukraine, Barszcs Ukrainski is enhanced with a polish twist of white beans and wild mushrooms.
This dish is not as famous as some of the soups in Poland on this list – you’re more likely to find this Polish soup near the Ukrainian border, as the influence from their neighbor jumped country lines during the early 20th century.
Barszcz Ukrainski is traditionally served chunky, although many prefer to blend it for a richer, smoother texture. If you can find this Polish soup, eat it with warm, freshly buttered bread.
Don’t get this one confused with Barszcz Ukrainski or Zurek. This Polish soup is a unique flavor, all of its own.
Barszcz Bialy, or white Borscht, is a rich soup based on fermented wheat flour. If this sounds strange to you, this is the same way sourdough bread is made – don’t be scared!
This polish soup is a tart, tangy dish that will keep you full for hours. Often served around Easter time, this dish is more of a seasonal soup than a year-round classic. Enjoy your white borscht with dumplings and a shot of Polish vodka for a traditional experience.
Another seasonal Polish soup, Grzybowa, takes two things that Polish people are most passionate about and combines them – holidays and wild mushrooms!
This Polish soup is traditionally made from a meat-based broth. However, vegetarians will often find meat-free options on many menus. Therefore, make sure to check the ingredients before ordering.
One of the best parts about this soup – the main ingredient can be found for free. Poland is home to over 300 species of wild mushrooms. Families often go mushroom picking on weekends and holidays. If you can’t be bothered finding your own, mushrooms are also available at Polish grocery stores – but usually at a massive mark-up!
Every culture has some version of a bean or legume soup, and Poland is no different. This filling legume-based soup stems from peasant times when fresh produce was expensive and difficult to find during Poland’s cold winters.
Instead, lower-class families would dry beans during the summer and soak them in large vats mixed with onions, garlic, and chili before simmering with pork bones and tomatoes for hours.
The result is a thick, rich stew that soaks into your bones on a cold night. In addition, restaurants will often blend half the soup and add it back into the vat, giving a thicker, creamier texture without using any dairy. Perfect for gluten-free travelers, give this calming soup a try when you visit Poland!
Hungary may have made goulash famous, but the Polish version of this classic soup is pretty good too! Warming and reassuring, Gulaszowa is a rich combination of piquant tomatoes, fibrous vegetables, cumin, and paprika spices.
This recipe was adapted from Hungary (as you may have guessed) but with a few Polish twists. Instead of beef strips, Gulaszowa contains the Polish favorite mushrooms, zucchini, and the spicy sausage kiełbasa.
Restaurants and cafes will often serve this classic Polish soup with kluski dumplings and grated white cheese. The genuinely starving will even use warm bread to wipe the bowl clean. While Gulaszowa can be time-consuming (kiełbasa takes a while to soften), the results are truly mouth-watering.
This is a classic seasonal soup from Poland – but we promise you that it definitely isn’t what you expect. This summertime classic is popular with children for its sweet, vibrant flavors. Sweet? That’s right; this soup is made with fruit!
Owocowa was created in the late 18th century as a way to deal with the overflow of cherries, strawberries, and plums that would otherwise rot in the warm weather. This unique Polish soup can be served warm or cold. It is deliciously refreshing and makes fantastic desserts.
While Owocowa traditionally comes with noodles, you can add cream or ice cream to your bowl and really make things exciting!
Often served in a hollowed-out bread loaf similar to Hungary’s goulash, Zurek is a seasonal dish that you will either love or hate. Similar to Flaki, it’s something of an acquired taste!
Variations between regions are common with this holiday Polish soup. However, expect to see hard-boiled eggs, bread crumbs, and raw Polish sausage (Biala Kielbasa) in the mix. Smoked bacon, ribs, or pork hock are also popular additions. The smokey flavors offset the sour taste from the fermented rye base.
Don’t Miss the Soups in Poland
While this isn’t every soup in Poland’s extensive cuisine, these are some of Poland’s most popular and well-known soups. Most will be available in restaurants, cafes, and shops across the country. Some are only seasonal, and you might only be able to experience them in a local home meal!
Perfect for the cooler climate, try as many of these unique soups as you can – you are in for a treat! Soups in Poland also goes very well with other traditional Polish dishes that you should not miss.