Rainy Season Close-Out Special: Krupnik!

Here in Costa Rica the rainy season –or as the marketing geniuses at the Costa Rican Tourism Institute call it, “The Green Season,”– is winding down, and each day brings progressively more sun and less rain. It hasn’t been a very bad rainy season, thank God, at least compared to last year. Last year there was a week where it didn’t stop raining, and I even missed my alarm once because it was making such a racket on the tin roof.
In any case, I know that it’s getting into winter time in the U.S., and I’ve been meaning to share a tasty soup recipe that my friend Martha Wawro shared with me. It’s called “Krupnik,” and although that looks like a Slovak swear word, it’s actually a Polish-style barley soup. I first had the honor of enjoying this tasty soup at one of the Wawro’s delicious annual Pierogi Sundays in December, and I begged Martha for the recipe.
I’ll put up the step-by-step information with some pictures, followed by the actual recipe. It’s quite simple and simply delicious, so I recommend you try it at once!

First, you take the barley and rinse it. I don’t know if you’re like me, but if you are, then you only have a vague concept of what barley actually IS. And even after having prepared this soup a few times, I’m still not entirely sure. I guess it’s some tasty type of grain. To the end, though, Angela’s family was convinced that it was just some type of smaller, whiter bean.


In any case, after rinsing the barley, put it in the beef stock and bring it to a boil.
Next, wash and chop the vegetables. I think the recipe calls for fewer vegetables, but I played it a bit fast and loose since I like soup veggies. And because I just don’t give a damn about your so-called cooking “rules”!

Once the barley has soaked up most of the broth, add the butter and let it cook a bit.

Finally, you add the vegetables and the rest of the broth to the pan, and cook until the vegetables are tender and tasty.

The lovely Angela enjoying the delicious final product.

Thanks, Martha, for the super soup!
Here’s the official recipe for those of you at home who want to play along:

Barley Soup – Krupnik

1 c. pearl barley
2 quarts meat stock
¼ c. butter or margarine, cut into pieces
2 carrots, diced
2 potatoes, diced
4 oz. canned mushrooms, sliced
1 stalk celery
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 and ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper

1) Combine barley with 1 cup of meat stock in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until all stock is absorbed. Add butter piece by piece, stirring.

2) Boil vegetables in remaining stock until crisp-tender. Then add barley, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cook until barley is tender.

Martha’s Note: Pierogi Sunday requires much more pepper to taste.

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