Rosół: Polish Chicken Soup
One more soup recipe and I promise I’ll give it a rest for a while! This soup called Rosół is a rich Polish broth based soup and was my absolute favorite growing up and still remains one of my all time favorite meals. It’s the most comforting food I can think of…and is one of the few foods that can truly warm the deepest depths of your soul. It is hearty and bursting with flavors but at the same time is reasonably healthy and doesn’t leave you in a food coma. After all these years of being away from home and being limited to having rosół only when I go back to visit (obviously it’s one of my top requests!), I decided it was time to learn the recipe and finally summoned the courage to make it myself. It ended up being soo much easier that I imagined (albeit time consuming as you have to allow for the broth to simmer for hours) and I couldn’t believe I’ve been waiting this long! The trick to making good rosół is using high quality meat and vegetables as they ultimately impart their goodness to the broth. I’m sharing my mom’s recipe here and while she used to make it with chicken, in recent years she’s found that turkey legs/thighs give the broth a deeper flavor. I ended up using both a turkey leg and half a chicken, in addition to some beef shank as my base. The most important things to remember when making this (as well as broth in general) is to use meat that still has bones attached (the long cooking time will extract the collagen and nutrients from it) and to never let the soup come to a full boil. You want to simmer so that you see bubbles forming slowly. Boiling is bad as it will break up the solids and cloud your final product…which you want to be nice and clear instead. The soup is usually served with angel hair pasta and any left over meat or veggies that were used in making it. After straining, I only kept the meat and the carrots and served the rosół with some pasta and shredded meat, topped with chopped parsley and dill.
Mommy’s Rosół z Makaronem (Broth soup with angel hair pasta)
- 14-16 cups water (depending on how big your soup pot is)
- Whole turkey leg (can also use thigh)
- beef shank (about 1 lb)
- 1/2 whole chicken with bones
- 1 large leek, cleaned well and sliced lengthwise with bearded end intact
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 parsley root (I couldn’t find this so left it out)
- 4 ribs celery, cut into wedges
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 head savoy cabbage, cut into wedges
- 1 teaspoon pepper seeds
- fresh parsley
- fresh dill
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 3-4 bay leaves
- salt, pepper to taste
- Cooked angel hair pasta
1) Clean the turkey leg and beef shank and place in your large soup pot. Cover with cold water, but making sure to leave room for the veggies. Bring water to a simmer and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Remove any foam accumulating on the surface. Simmer for 1 hour.
2) Prepare your veggies and clean your chicken. When you are done with the prep and ready to add everything, char your onion quarters on a skillet. Now add the chicken, carrots, parsley root, leek, onion, garlic, cabbage, bay leaves, and pepper seeds. Continue simmering on low heat for 1-2hrs. The veggies should be soft and the meat cooked through.
3) Next add the celery and bouillon cubes and continue simmering for 30 minutes-1hr. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4) Add a handful of fresh parsley and fresh dill (including the stalks). Simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste again and adjust seasoning.
5) Remove from heat and let cool. This will take a while. You can also fill your sink with cool water/ice to speed up the process.
6) When cool, remove the meat and veggies and save what you want. Definitely do not throw out the meat as it can be used in the soup or in many other dishes. I also like to save the carrots but toss everything else.
7) Pour the soup through a fine mesh sieve to remove smaller bits.
8 ) Soup is ready to eat. For an even healthier soup, place pot in the fridge for a few hours. The fat will accumulate on top and can be removed.
9) Serve with angel hair pasta, shredded meat, and chopped fresh parsley and dill.