Dinner/ polish/ soups

Polish Tomato Soup (zupa pomidorowa)

1 September 2021 By Aleksandra

Polish tomato soup (called “zupa pomidorowa”, just “pomidorowa” or “pomidorówka”) is one of the staples of Polish cuisine. It’s usually made on Mondays from Polish chicken soup (rosół) leftovers, that is often served for Sunday dinner. It’s made with just 3 ingredients: chicken broth (or soup), tomato puree (tomato passata), and cream. It tastes amazing – it’s pure comfort food. You can serve it with noodles or rice – Polish people are very divided which is the best way 🙂

Polish tomato soup in a white plate served with noodles and chopped parsley.

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to make the recipe. Scroll down for a printable recipe card with measurements and detailed instructions.

Ingredients

There are only 3 main ingredients needed to make this delicious tomato soup:

Chicken broth or chicken soup – these are two different recipes! Chicken broth is more delicate in taste – there is less meat needed to make it and it’s cooked for a shorter period of time. Polish chicken soup on the other hand is very rich. It’s a broth that is good that you eat it on its own! There’s a larger amount of meat involved, often there are different kinds of meat used and it’s usually carefully simmered for a long period of time (I cook my rosół soup for 6 hours, while chicken broth needs just 1 hour).

I’m mentioning chicken noodle soup because it is traditionally used to prepare tomato soup. In many Polish households, chicken soup is served for Sunday dinner and then the leftovers are used to make tomato soup on Monday. I must admit that I actually prefer using delicate chicken stock for this soup. My chicken noodle soup is super rich and meaty (again, it must be so good that you can eat it on its own!) so I feel that tomato flavor gets a little diluted when using it. Try for yourself what you like best – you can make my recipe for chicken noodle soup or use the recipe for chicken broth that I’ve written in the recipe card at the end of the post. You can also just use a store-bought chicken broth if you’re short on time!

Tomato passata – also called tomato puree. It’s a thick sauce of pureed, briefly cooked tomatoes that have been strained of seeds and skins. You can use a homemade or store-bought tomato passata/puree. The difference between the two is that the store-bought puree is more thick and concentrated so you will need 2 cups to make the soup and if you have homemade puree – add 3 cups.

Cream – most Polish people are using 18% cream for this soup. It’s a type of sour cream but with larger fat content. It’s labeled in Poland as ‘cream for soup’. I can’t buy it where I live so I’m using half sour cream and half heavy cream. You can use just sour cream or just heavy cream if this is what you prefer. If you have very sour tomatoes it’s probably better to use heavy cream which is slightly sweet, but if your tomatoes are very sweet adding some sour cream is a good idea.

You can add heavy cream directly to the soup but if you would like to add sour cream you need to temper it first, which means you have to gradually add some tomato soup to the cream and stir constantly until they are well-combined. If your cream has split and your soup is grainy you can always mix it in a blender. If your soup came out too sour add some light brown sugar to it.

Labeled ingredients for Polish tomato soup.

For homemade chicken broth you will need:

  • Chicken parts – I prefer to use chicken wings – they are great for making broth because there are lots of bones, cartilages, and skin (they add great flavor to the soup) and not that much meat that you need to use up. You can also use chicken thighs, drumsticks or whole chicken legs. After the broth has been cooked you can take the meat off the bones and add it to the soup or leave it for other uses like this chicken spread.
  • Soup vegetables – they are called “włoszczyzna” in Polish and are often sold in a bundle. You will need carrots, a piece of leek, a piece of celeriac, parsley root and leaves, an onion.
  • Spices – allspice berries, bay leaves and black peppercorns are most often used to make Polish soups.

How to make Polish tomato soup step by step

Chopped vegetables on a wooden board. Water is being added to a pot with vegetables and chicken.

STEP 1: Make the chicken broth: peel the carrots, parsley root, celeriac, and onion. Cut into large chunks.

STEP 2: Add the vegetables, spices, and chicken pieces into a large pot. Add 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.

Chicken broth is being strained. Tomato puree is being added to chicken broth in a pot.

STEP 3: Strain the broth, discard the vegetables (you can leave carrots if you like them, slice them and add to the soup), set the meat aside to cool. When the meat is cool enough to handle, you can take the meat off the bones and add it to your soup or leave it for other uses.

STEP 4: Add the tomato puree to the broth. Bring the soup to a boil then take it off the heat.

Cream is being tempered in a cup. Tempered cream is being added to a pot with tomato soup.

STEP 5: Temper the cream: Add both types of cream to a cup, add a tablespoon of hot soup to the cream, stir until combined, gradually add more soup to the cream, stirring thoroughly after each addition. You should add about 8 tablespoons of soup in total. If the sour cream is still lumpy you can process the mixture in a food processor or press it through a fine-mesh strainer.

STEP 6: Add the tempered cream to the soup. You can now warm up the soup but don’t boil it (the cream can split).
Season the soup with salt and pepper. You can add more cream if you wish. You can add heavy cream directly to the soup but sour cream needs to be tempered first. If your soup came out too sour you can add a teaspoon (or to taste) of light brown sugar.

Serve with cooked pasta or rice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

Tomato soup is being poured into a plate with cooked noodles.

Storage

Keep this soup in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat it but don’t bring it to a boil – the cream can curdle. It can also be frozen but without the cream – it will split. If you choose to freeze it with cream anyway you can always mix it in a blender until smooth again.

More delicious Polish soups

Polish Tomato Soup (zupa pomidorowa) in a white plate, served with noodles and chopped parsley.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Polish tomato soup (zupa pomidorowa)

Delicious tomato soup made with chicken broth, tomato puree, and cream. It’s pure comfort food and one of the staples of Polish cuisine.
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Polish tomato soup served with noodles and chopped parsley in a white bowl.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 109kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the homemade broth (or use 6 cups store-bought chicken broth):

  • 6 chicken wings
  • soup vegetables: 2 carrots,1 parsley root, 1/2 leek, a slice of celeriac, 1 onion
  • spices: couple parsley twigs, 2 bay leaves, 3 allspice berries, 10 black peppercorns
  • 8 cups water

additionally:

  • 2 cups tomato passata (tomato puree) 500ml
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream 30-36%
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream 12-15%
  • salt and pepper to taste

to serve:

  • chopped parsley
  • cooked pasta or rice

Instructions

  • Make the chicken broth: peel the carrots, parsley root, celeriac, and onion. Cut into large chunks. Add the vegetables, spices, and chicken pieces into a large pot. Add 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.
  • Strain the broth, discard the vegetables (you can leave carrots if you like them, slice them and add to the soup), set the meat aside to cool. When the meat is cool enough to handle, you can take the meat off the bones and add it to your soup or leave it for other uses.
  • Add the tomato puree to the broth. Bring the soup to a boil then take it off the heat.
  • Temper the cream: Add both types of cream to a cup, add a tablespoon of hot soup to the cream, stir until combined, gradually add more soup to the cream, stirring thoroughly after each addition. You should add about 8 tablespoons of soup in total. If the sour cream is still lumpy you can process the mixture in a food processor or press it through a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Add the tempered cream to the soup. You can now warm up the soup but don’t boil it (the cream can split).
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper. You can add more cream if you wish. You can add heavy cream directly to the soup but sour cream needs to be tempered first. If your soup came out too sour you can add a teaspoon (or to taste) of light brown sugar.
  • Serve with cooked pasta or rice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • For this soup, you can make simple chicken broth (as written in the recipe above), make my recipe for Polish chicken soup (rosół), or use store-bought chicken broth (you will need 6 cups).
  • Tomato passata (also called tomato puree) is a thick sauce of pureed, briefly cooked tomatoes that have been strained of seeds and skins. If you have homemade tomato puree it’s probably less thick and concentrated than store-bought so use 3 cups instead of 2 (or to your taste).
  • You can use just sour cream or just heavy cream – it depends on your preferences. In Poland, this soup is usually made with 18% sour cream – a special type of cream for soups.
  • For homemade chicken broth, you can use any bone-in skin-on chicken parts like chicken thighs, drumsticks, or whole legs.
  • Storage: Keep this soup in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat it but don’t bring it to a boil – the cream can curdle. It can also be frozen but without the cream – it will split. If you choose to freeze it with cream anyway you can always mix it in a blender until smooth again.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/6 of the recipe), pasta is not included. This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine polish
Keyword Polish tomato soup, zupa pomidorowa

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