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Polish soup

Pickle soup John Thorne's pickle soup was inspired by one he found in the Polish section of a supermarket. (Jonathan Wiggs / Globe Staff)
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November 28, 2007

Serves 4

4large Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes (skins intact)
1large carrot, chopped
2tablespoons butter
1bunch scallions, chopped
1clove garlic, finely chopped
1teaspoon mustard seeds
4sprigs fresh dill (leaves only), chopped
4half-sour pickles, chopped
1cup pickling liquid from the jar of half-sours
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a pot just large enough to accommodate them in a single layer, fit the potatoes and carrots. Add enough cold water to just cover them. Bring to a boil, cover with the lid, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a skewer.

2. In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the scallions, garlic, and mustard seeds. Cook gently, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not colored.

3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to the scallion mixture; set aside.

4. Remove the potatoes from their cooking liquid (set the liquid aside). When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slip off their skins. Quarter the potatoes and return them to the potato water. Sprinkle with dill. With the edge of a wooden spoon, chop and mash the potatoes. There should be lots of potato chunks, none very large.

5. Tip the potato mixture into the carrot mixture. Add the pickles and pickling liquid. Bring to a simmer, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

6. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add a little more pickling liquid, or milk or water. Taste for seasoning, add salt and plenty of pepper. - Adapted from John Thorne

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