Instant Pot Polish Dill Pickle Soup is an easy take on this traditional hearty soup loaded with incredible flavor. This version is gluten-free and Whole30 compliant.
If you’ve never come across it before, zupa ogórkowa is a traditional polish soup that is crazy popular in the country.
Being both part Polish, a soup fanatic, and a big time pickle lover, I nearly fainted from pure ecstasy the first time I tried it.
It really is comfort food at its finest.
I think using the trusty Instant Pot might be the best way to cook this soup. It allows you to make delicious and nutritious stock from scratch in the cook time of about an hour.
So put any misgiving aside and prepare for the surprise of dill pickles in liquid form.
It just might become your new favorite soup recipe.
Polish Dill Pickle Soup Recipe Ingredients
For this soup recipe you’ll need:
- baby back ribs – about half a rack
- celery root
- bay leaf
- allspice berries
- black peppercorns – black pepper also works in a pinch
- yellow potatoes – potatoes are a staple of the traditional Polish recipe, but if your following a low carb diet, try subbing with turnips
- unsalted butter or ghee – make sure to use ghee for a Whole30 version
- fresh dill
- fermented pickles – it is very important to use only fermented pickles for this recipe. More on that below…
The Best Pickles to Use for this Soup
For this recipe it is vital that you use fermented pickles (the main ingredients being cucumbers, water, salt, and seasonings).
Good pickle brine is essential to the flavor of this soup. It provides the perfect tang without being over the top pucker-your-lips sour.
For this reason, you definitely want to avoid pickles that have been brined in any sort of vinegar solution.
Of course you can use your own pickles, but fermented dills can also be found in the refrigerated section of a good grocery store or deli.
One brand that I highly recommend and that is also widely available is Bubbies.
How to Make Instant Pot Dill Pickle Soup
Start by rinsing off the ribs, then trim off any visible fat off and cut them into 1 or 2 rib sections.
Place the ribs, leek, carrots, parsnip, celery root, allspice, bay leaves, and peppercorns in the Instant Pot and cover with 8 cups of water.
Lock the lid and set the timer on high pressure for 1 hour.
While the broth is cooking, dice some onion and cut the yellow potatoes into small cubes.
Take the pickles out of the jar, reserving the brine, and grate them lengthwise using a box grater over a medium bowl. This can be a tedious affair, so you can also opt to use a food processor with a grater plate.
Melt the butter or ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook it until it starts to get tender.
Squeeze out the grated pickles, reserving the juice, and add them to the pan.
Continue cooking the onions and pickles for about another 5 minutes, until the pickles start to turn golden brown.
Once the Instant Pot timer goes off, allow the pressure to naturally release, then unlock the lid.
Strain the broth and pour it back into the Instant pot, making sure to reserve the ribs and carrots.
Select the “Sauté – High” setting and once the broth starts to boil add the potatoes.
When the ribs have cooled slightly, remove the meat from the bones, shred it, and toss it in the broth. You can also shred or roughly chop the carrot and toss it in.
Once the potatoes are tender, add the cooked onions and pickles to the soup. Pour in the reserved pickle juice from the squeezed pickles, then start adding the brine from the jar.
How much additional brine to add is really up to personal taste, but you’ll be surprised how much you can get away with.
I tend to add almost the entire jar for the right amount of dill pickle flavor (for the record I drink straight pickle juice for fun).
Stir in some chopped fresh dill and ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with more dill and sliced pickles if desired. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your Polish Pickle Soup!
More Instant Pot Recipes:
Instant Pot Polish Dill Pickle Soup
- 1.25 pounds baby back ribs about half a rack
- 1 leek trimmed, cut in half, and rinsed
- 3 carrots trimmed and peeled
- 1 large parsnip trimmed and peeled
- 1/2 celery root trimmed peeled
- 1 tablespoon allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee
- 32 ounces fermented dill pickles brine reserved
- 1 pound yellow potatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1/3 cup fresh dill roughly chopped
- Rinse the ribs and pat them dry. Trim off any visible fat and cut them into 1 or 2 rib sections.
- Place the ribs in the Instant Pot along with the leek, carrot, celery root, allspice, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Cover with water, then lock the lid and set on high pressure for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, dice the onion and potatoes. Using a box grater, grate the pickles length wise over a medium bowl.
- Melt the butter or ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 7-8 minutes.
- Squeeze out the grated pickles, reserving the brine, and add them to the skillet. Cook until the pickles start to turn golden brown, about 5- 6 minutes, then remove the saucepan from heat.
- When the Instant pot timer goes off, allow the pressure to naturally release, then unlock the lid. Strain the broth, reserving the pork and carrots, then return broth to the pot. Set the Instant pot to the "Sauté-High" setting.
- When the broth comes to a boil, add the potatoes, and loosely cover with the lid. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
- When the ribs have cooled, remove the meat from the bones, shred it and add it to the Instant pot. Grate or roughly chop the carrots and add them to the pot.
- Stir in the pickle and onions mixture into the Instant Pot and add the fresh dill. Pour in the reserved juice from the grated pickles, then gradually add the brine from the pickle jar, about a cup at a time, to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with more fresh dill.
The ingredient or equipment sections above may contain affiliate links to products that I personally use or recommend!
Friday 30th of September 2022
I just saw this soup via a page I follow on Instagram for a local European market. Being a serious dill pickle-holic, I immediately searched for Paleo Dill Pickle Soup, and your recipe was right there! My Russian heritage and very fond childhood memories of homemade dill pickles thank you.
The Sophisticated Caveman
Friday 7th of October 2022
Thank you for sharing! I love how food can instantly bring back memories like that. My heritage definitely inspires a lot of my recipes :)
Saturday 18th of June 2022
Hi Brian, Do You think this recipe would turn out well in a crock pot? I don't have a pressure cooker and wanted to try this recipe with some fresh homemade fermented pickles that I am about to make a batch of... Love your blog!
The Sophisticated Caveman
Wednesday 22nd of June 2022
Thanks, Lisa! I think you could totally make this in a crock pot--I would just combine all the broth ingredients together, cover them with water, and cook on low for at least 10-12 hours. Then just strain it and follow the rest of the recipe as written!