110 Krupnik, autumn vegetable and barley soup

Not a big fan of groats? This beautiful Polish soup will change it! Krupnik is your answer for autumn lunch.

if there is a soup i adore, it’s krupnik. krupnik is a Polish soup, made with (usually) meat broth, containing potatoes, grated parsnip, grated carrot, and barley groats. KaszaPolish name for groats, was in the past called ‘krupa’ or ‘krupy’, hence the name of the soup.
with a bit of freshly chopped dill and some fresh cream, it’s home.

Kasza (or groats in English) is often mentioned as the staple food of the Slavic tribes, as long ago as the 10th century. According to Hanna and Pawel Lis, authors of the very interesting and well-researched book Kuchnia Słowian (“Slavic cuisine”) agree with this claim, saying that the main Slavic industry was agriculture which, in turn, was mostly concerned with growing many kinds of grains. Processing grains into groats was not an especially difficult task, although very physically demanding, as it used to be done by hand, with the use of simple tools. The end product – different types of groats, was much easier to prepare as a meal than grains, and much more easily digestible (the fact of which medieval Slavic tribes were not necessarily aware of).

There are many varieties of groats available in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe (especially in Ukraine, Belarus, Czech Republic, Russia and Hungary), and they are still widely consumed, as a side dish or as a part of meals. The most popular type of groats in the Slavic areas was millet. Millet groats are simple to store and they keep well. They are also easy to cook and to incorporate into many dishes, including desserts. Other popular types of groats are: kasza gryczana (buckwheat groats), kasza jęczmienna (barley groats) and kasza manna (semolina), often served with milk to small children.

Although not as pretty as pure, white rice, groats are a delicious and much healthier equivalent: they contain higher amounts of fibre than white rice and a high amount of protein. They are filling, provide us with a lot of energy and due to the huge variety of groats, we can experiment with flavours and textures almost endlessly. Ready to start your kasza adventure with the perfect autumn soup, krupnik?



3 tbsp barley groats
1,5l water
3-4 chicken wings
1tsp salt
1 bay leaf
2-3 allspice berries
4 small potatoes
1 big carrot
1 big parsnip
1 or 1/2 small celeriac
1 onion
fresh dill (you can use dried in the winter)
100ml fresh cream

How to make?
1. Wash barley groats in cold water, drain and set aside.
2. Wash the chicken wings, put them into a pot and add 1,5 litre of cold water. Add salt and bring to a boil at medium heat. Once boiled, lower the heat and simmer for about 40min with the lid on.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Peel the potatoes, parsnip, carrot and celeriac. Cut potatoes into small cubes, and grate the rest of the root vegetables. Cut the onion into big chunks.
4. After simmering for 40min, take the meat out of the pot, and set aside. Add all the vegetables to the pot, with the bay leaf and allspice berries. Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Add the meat from the chicken wings, cut into pieces (or simply stripped off the bone) to your soup. Cook for 5 minutes.
6. You can eat your soup like that, with a bit of freshly chopped dill or you can add some cream. To do so, take out a ladle of soup and pour into a mug or small bowl, add the cream, and mix thoroughly. The small amount of hot soup will warm up the cream, which, once added to the soup after mixing, will prevent it from curdling when added to the soup.

All done! Enjoy your super-warming, delicious vegetable soup with healthy barley groats!



  1. This soup looks so tasty and hearty. Just perfect for the colder days ahead… :)


    1. It’s a definition of comfort food, this soup. Are you going to try? ;)


      1. Waiting for the colder weather to try it. :)

  2. The soup you’ve made looks very tasty and as the chilly fall weather has arrived seems very appropriate to serve. Barley isn’t a grain that I’m particularly familiar with, though I’ve had beef barley soup, and even cooked it at home myself. I can’t say that the dish really impressed … however I’m willing to try again. How do you process barley into barley groats or CAN you at home? Would ham be a good replacement for the chicken? I’m asking because I have some ham cooked on the bone and then diced and frozen.


    1. I am not quite sure if it’s possible to process barley into barley groats at home. If you can’t get barley groats at your usual supermarket, try Polish shop, if there are any in your neighbourhood. 1kg of barley groats, in Polish called kasza jęczmienna, is very cheap, about £1 here. You can also get it online, but from my experience it’s always cheaper to get a Polish version, as barley is very popular in Poland (hence it’s cheap), and quite an alternative food choice here, in the UK ;)
      As for the ham, I think it should be okay. The taste will change, of course, as ham has stronger flavour than chicken, but I think it will still be nice :)
      Good luck! I hope this soup will convince you to barley groats. My boyfriend loves the soup, even though he is not big healthy-eater ^^


      1. I think I have something called pot barley. Or is it pearl barley? Oh well. :)

      2. I’m not sure pearl barley will work, it’s much different than barley groats. You can try though! ^^

  3. love the info on groats, and i love krupnik! im going to make this soon :)


  4. I will definitely be making this for my children! Thanks for the post.


  5. You can use pearl barley, it’s slightly different but it works, I actually prefer it. Mind you, it takes longer to cook. Someone above mentioned beef as well, I remember my grandma used to cook this soup on beef ribs (since you get a lot of flavour from the bone). It’s a great recipe though, remember that you should never wash raw chicken!


  6. […] Peas soup, Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup or Red Pepper Soup soup with two-three spoons of kasza, or Krupnik, traditionally eaten with barley groats; it makes a great filling for pierogi; a base for […]


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