Despite the fact that I didn’t take my camera with me on my recent trip to Poland (hence the less than flattering photo), and the fact that this is hardly festive (actually, in retrospect, the cloves and allspice give this a great Christmas smell), I couldn’t resist sharing with you this crazy sounding but delicious sweet and sour soup made from duck’s blood.
Czarnina is pretty much a traditional Polish dish, yet shows just how much we in the Western world (UK, in my case) have become detached from our food. All meat has blood in it, but the mere mention of a soup where blood is the primary ingredient still never fails to raise an eyebrow (even, in my “testing”, with people who gladly eat black pudding). Indeed, I bet that’s what grabbed your attention in the headline.
There seems to be a thousand variations on this soup all around Poland. I’ve tweaked my Mother In Law’s recipe slightly here to simplify it a bit (she’ll probably kill me), but I promise you’ll love it. Still, it may turn out to be more of a theoretical exercise, since the chance of getting hold of a bottle of fresh duck blood (sold at practically every farmers’ market in Poland) may be easier said than done. Still, if you have your own duck, or access to a freshly killed duck…
Recipe: Polish Czarnina (Duck Blood) Soup
This soup is rich and delicious and is well worth trying if you have the opportunity.
- Fresh ducks blood (about 450ml or 2 cups)
- 200ml (just less than 1 cup) white wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- Various duck parts (offal included)
- 5 Allspice buds
- 5 Cloves
- 1 Pear
- Handful of dried fruits including cherries and prunes
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Sugar, to taste
- If your duck blood is fresh, mix with the vinegar to prevent it clotting. If you’re buying it, it’s probably already mixed with vinegar anyway.
- Next step is to make a stock from the duck parts; throw them in a large pot with about 2.5 litres of water and the spices and slowly bring to the boil, taking any scum from the surface, before reducing the heat down to a simmer and leaving for 1 more hour or until the meat is tender.
- This is how my mother in law did the next bit; remove all the duck pieces and remove from the heat. Next, add in the fruit, blood, and flour (gradually) while stirring to thicken.
- Remove the meat from the bones and add back into the soup. Offal was served separately as a “chef’s perk”!
- Taste and season with salt, pepper and sugar as required.
My Mother In Law served it with potato dumplings, but you could use pasta.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)