I thought of my mom when I was at the farmers market this week. She would have been so excited to find fragrant fresh dill and potatoes with thin red skin. I know she would have grabbed a big bunch of dill and sorted through the potatoes, filling a bag with the main ingredents for the creamy soup she loved to make this time of year.
My mom learned how to make Dill Cream Soup from her Czechoslovakian mother-in-law, Clara. Although the rich soup may not have been a favorite of my mom’s, she knew how much my dad enjoyed it.
She would cook cubed potatoes, then add lots of sour cream with a bit of flour for thickening. After she stirred feathery fresh dill into the soup, she’d gently slide some eggs into the hot pot, poaching them in the simmering soup. When she ladled the dill soup into serving bowls, she always made sure one egg went into each bowl. She’d place a tiny corked carafe of vinegar on the table. It is the secret ingredient in this soup. Just a drop or two adds slight tartness and lots of character. Although a teaspoon of vinegar is stirred into the pot of soup before serving, I always add another drop or two to my bowl at the table.
I’ve nixed the step that involved poaching eggs in the soup. I prefer to top each serving of soup with finely chopped hard-cooked eggs. Sometimes the soup seems a little thicker than I prefer. I just stir in a little milk or cream to get the consistency just right.
The soup can be stored in the refrigerator and heated over very low heat at serving time.
It’s been several years since I’ve made this soup. I guess I never hit the farmers market on a day when fresh-dug potatoes and just-cut dill made an appearance together.
I can thank my lucky Czech stars that my mom conintued Clara’s summer Dill Cream Soup tradition. The soup lives on. And the little glass carafe with a cork is still used to hold the secret ingredient.
Dill Cream Soup
- 3 large red potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon vinegar plus more for serving
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, chopped
Place potato cubes into a large Dutch oven. Add 3 cups water. Add more water, if needed, to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Add salt. While potatoes are cooking, mix sour cream and flour together. When potatoes are tender, remove pot from heat and stir in sour cream mixture. Return pot to heat. Stir the soup until it just begins to bubble. Add dill. Stir in vinegar. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with chopped hard-cooked eggs. Offer more vinegar at the table. Serves 4 to 6.