Pickle soup with dill, with homemade rye sourdough bread, in my apartment in Amsterdam, 2023.
Stumbling into a recipe on the New York Times, I decided it was high time to cook some more European food.
Pickling and lacto-fermenting vegetables appears to be an important cultural tradition in many European countries. And I love it. There is one particularly amazing pickler right next to where I live here in Amsterdam, that makes traditionally Jewish/Amsterdam pickles. Noemi and I have developed a small addiction to these pickles. I had one large pickled cucumber left, and decided I could also use its brine for this soup.
Sauté potatoes and some other soupy vegetables (celery, carrot, onion) for a few minutes in plenty of butter. Pour in enough vegetable stock to cover, and let the whole mixture simmer with a lid on for ten minutes, or until the vegetables are soft enough for your liking.
In a small saucepan on low heat, sauté the grated pickled cucumber (squeeze to get all of its juices out and save those) together with finely minced garlic and some bay leaves.
Pour the pickle-garlic mixture into the soup and add the saved pickle juice. Add in more pickle brine according to your preference. Season with black pepper and salt.
Ladle into bowls, top with fresh dill and black pepper. Serve with good chunks of strong bread.