POLISH DILL PICKLE SOUP > The Fountain on Locust
Yield: 6 cups
4 cups good-quality chicken stock or canned chicken broth
4 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes (see note)
3 to 4 Polish dill pickles (see note)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Pickle juice, optional
Ground black or white pepper
Dried dill, for garnish
1. Pour stock into a large pot and place over medium-high heat, adding potatoes as they're diced. When stock comes to a boil and all potatoes have been added, cover the pot, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
2. With an immersion blender (see note), purée the soup; for best texture, leave some chunks of potato.
3. Drain pickles (save the juice) and purée in a food processor to yield about 1 cup. Stir pickle purée and butter into soup pot. Return to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk milk into sour cream until smooth. Adding 1/4 cup at a time, whisk about 2 cups of the hot soup into the sour cream mixture, then stir that mixture into the soup pot.
5. For a distinct pickle flavor, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons pickle juice or to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently reheat the soup; to prevent curdling, do not let it come to a boil.
6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with dill.
Per 1-cup serving: 160 calories; 5g fat; 3g saturated fat; 15mg cholesterol; 4g protein; 25g carbohydrate; 3g sugar; 2g fiber; 1,225mg sodium; 60mg calcium.
Notes: Russet potatoes are sometimes called "baking potatoes" or "Idaho potatoes." They have rough skins and a mealy texture that's especially good in soups.
• Look for Polish dill pickles in supermarkets or use any good kosher pickle. The Fountain on Locust recommends avoiding the largest pickles, which have thick, tough skins.
• If you don't have an immersion blender, use a regular blender. To prevent hot liquid from spewing out, work in batches, filling the blender no more than half full, and hold the cover tightly.
Recipe adapted for home kitchens by the Post-Dispatch.