MY TASTEFUL OPINION: If I lived close by, I could see myself going there a lot. You can’t beat $2 for a homemade bowl of soup. It’s cheaper than a can at the grocery store! But there’s no reason to make a special trip just for the soup.
FINALLY!!!!! Last soup entry! I can hardly believe it.
Unfortunately, the actual journey to eating the final soup at PSC (Polish Slavic Center) Cafeteria in Greenpoint, Brooklyn was not what I had hoped for. I wanted to go out with a bang. I wanted to have a feast with a bunch of friends. I wanted the soup to be unique. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, after all.
But, since I was in a rush to finish the last few soups during my last few days in NYC, I knew I was going to have to finish this alone. I saved the pickle soup at PSC for last since it was the most unique – one that I had never heard of before this. So, at least I was going to have one wish fulfilled.
…or so I thought.
I called the restaurant an hour before I was heading over. In a thick Polish accent that I could barely understand, the woman said, “No pickle soup. We have…”
#$(@_$! I couldn’t understand what soup she said she had left, but I had to go to the restaurant anyway. I would have no other time, unless I wanted to wait ’til my next NYC visit.
Arriving just 20 minutes before they closed, I ordered the one soup they had left – Barley Soup ($2). More chicken soup with barley instead of noodles. Exciting.
For $2, you get a really large portion filled with carrots, celery, dill, onion, barley, chicken and potato. The potato made the soup thicker and cloudier than other brothy versions, and, I have to say, I enjoyed it. It didn’t blow my mind, but it felt very homey.
It was, however, still not a pickle soup. And that’s why I decided to try making a Polish dill pickle soup myself last night. Being a pickle lover, I had to know what I missed out on. And, even though I absolutely love pickles, to the point I get serious cravings for them (I’ve had to stop at a grocery store after drinking one night to pick up a jar), I wasn’t 100% sure I’d like this. Would it be like drinking the juice from the jar?
I got this recipe from Food.com that lots and lots of reviewers, including ones with Polish relatives, raved about: http://www.food.com/recipe/polish-dill-pickle-soup-138138.
- 6 cups vegetable stock or 6 cups chicken stock or 6 cups beef stock
- 4 large dill pickles, shredded
- 1/2 cup pickle juice, from the pickle jar
- 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced potatoes
- 2 tablespoons instant flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 eggs
- 2 tablespoons soft butter
- chopped fresh dill
- sour cream
- salt and pepper
- In a large saucepan or soup pot with cover, combine stock, pickles, pickle liquid & potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook covered, over low heat until potatoes start to get soft (about 10 minutes).
- Combine flour and milk, add to broth, bring to a boil and remove from heat.
- Combine egg and butter and stir into broth.
- Return pot to the stove and heat through without boiling. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with sour cream and or dill.
Here’s what I changed:
- I made my own beef broth, using beef neck bones. Note: PSC Cafeteria apparently uses a pork broth base.
- I chopped the potatoes into small cubes, and then mashed them in the pot after they got soft.
- Instead of whole milk, I used fat-free milk (some other reviewers did, too).
- Instead of whole sour cream, I used fat-free sour cream.
I served it as an appetizer for me and JM, and I could tell JM was skeptical. I was, too.
I didn’t notice the heart-shaped sour cream dollop until I was taking the photo. Interesting, eh? I sure as heck put a lot of love into this. Too bad I didn’t want to finish my bowl. I really did feel like I was drinking pickle juice and cream, and I was conscious of the fact that all the dairy would really mess up my stomach later (and it did). I wonder if people who love dirty martini’s would like this. JM didn’t say “Mmmmmmmm,” but he didn’t object either. He was even going to take the leftovers for lunch today!
Does PSC Cafeteria’s pickle soup taste similar? Does it taste a lot better? I’m still curious.
So there you have it. The adventure has come to an end. I’ve obviously learned about some new soups, but, mostly, I think I’ve confirmed that you can’t always believe what the magazines or “professionals” say. You may not even agree with what I’ve said. But I’m glad that New York magazine published the December 2009 issue. It got me to try new things and experience new places. So yay to that!
Perhaps I’ll see you on my next blog. Until then, remain SOUPer! ;op
177 Kent Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222