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Barscz Bialy (aka, Zurek)
(Polish Easter Soup)
This authentic Polish recipe was brought to the United States from Krakow in the early 1900s by Agnes Kravitz, who settled in Northeastern Pennsylvania and passed the "little bit of this, little bit of that" recipe to her daughter Theodosia (Tess) Burke, who in turn passed the love of it on to her own daughter in law, of Italian descent, Maria Burke. Maria sent it to me, for which I shall always be grateful. It's a rich and unusual soup--thickly white from milk and dark rye flour; sour from fermenting the flour into traditional barscz kwaszony zytni (the Russian kvass), tart from freshly grated horseradish, and highly textured from chopped egg and smoked kielbasa and rye bread. Maria says, "it's something you have to acquire a taste for, but once you do, there's no substitute for it." As a converted addict, I agree. Serve hot to 4-6 people on Easter morning...or whenever.
MAKING THE BARSCZ, 5-6 days before making the soup:
PREPARING THE CONDIMENTS, PER SERVING BOWL:
MAKING THE SOUP:
When ready to serve, place the bread bits, chopped sausage and egg into each bowl that you're serving. Ladle the Barscz soup over all, then stir in horseradish to taste.