Friday, August 2, 2013

Klodniak (Cold Cucumber and Buttermilk Soup)

Growing up in the south meant that Sunday dinner, served in the middle of the day, was a groaning board of food.  A table laden with fried chicken, green beans, new potatoes, corn, sliced tomatoes, marinated cucumbers and corn bread would be a typical meal for the sabbath.  Somehow my mother and grandmother managed to have the meal to table as soon as we changed out of our good clothes.  How did they do it?  Sunday supper would be light.  Many times we enjoyed cornbread chunked up in a cold glass of buttermilk and eaten with a spoon.

What does all the above have to do with this recipe?  Well, if you like buttermilk and cucumbers, this soup should be just right for you.  You could even chunk up some cornbread in it if you wanted although it would be much less refreshing on a hot summer's day.  I first had the soup at a small Polish restaurant in London years ago.  It was a hot July day.  What I really wanted was a soda in a glass filled with ice.  Unlike the American south, London was not so free with ice.  We wandered into the coolness of the restaurant and Andrew suggested the soup.  I thought it was delicious and still do.

Here's the recipe if you are game to give it a try.

Klodniak inspired by a Polish restaurant in London

1 large hothouse cucumber (they don't need peeling or seeding), finely chopped
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sauerkraut juice
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 cup finely sliced scallions with some of the green top
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Combine the cucumbers, sour cream, buttermilk, sauerkraut juice, garlic and scallions.  Season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Chill for several hours.
2.  You may add chopped hard boiled eggs if you like.

This keeps for about a week in the refrigerator.



  1. Your recipe has intrigued me. The addition of sauerkraut juice is new to me and I'll have to give it a try. Have a great day, Bonnie. Blessings...Mary

  2. What a fresh and tasty soup Bonnie. No, the Europeans don't enjoy ice nearly as much as us Southerners. I love cucumbers and your soup sounds delightful for the hot summer days ahead.

    I too don't know how grandmothers and mothers managed to have a huge Sunday lunch on the table in time for us to dig in after church. Cornbread and cold buttermilk was one of my father's favorites. You've brought back happy memories for me this morning.

  3. I was so excited to see this post. I had a delicious cup of cucumber soup yesterday and was planning on looking up a recipe.

    I miss those Sunday dinners. After dinner, Mother would cover the leftovers and leave them on the top of the stove. At night we snacked on what we found under the aluminum foil, maybe with an extra tomato or two cut up. Life was good!

  4. I remember the Sunday dinners! I loved it...we (the entire family...all ten of my dad's brothers and sisters) always went to Grandma's house and feasted. I don't know how Grandma did it but it was so much fun.

    The soup recipe is quite different...buttermilk and sauerkraut juice. Interesting combination...will have to think about it! :-)

  5. I would absolutely LOVE this... I love buttermilk (and never drink it much anymore) ---and I love cucumbers... SO---perfect combination for me.... YUM....


  6. This loos really, really interesting, and strangely delicious!

  7. The sour kraut juice is a very interesting addition! We still eat Sunday Dinner at 1:@)

  8. Such nice memories:)
    I can't say I have those kind..yet I have good memories too..
    I do love sauerkraut :)..and have put the juice in potato salads:)

  9. My Dad grew up in Pennsylvania and loved fresh buttermilk, so I also learned early in life to enjoy it. This sounds so unusual but I bet it tastes terrific! It sounds Greek in origin-- Ilove that combination of yogurt and cucumbers so I'm sure this soup will appeal to my tatse buds!

    1. It is Polish in origin although I'm sure there are Greek inspired recipes as well.

  10. What a unique summer soup. This would be perfect on a hot August day. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have honestly never heard or seen this before so it was a real treat to visit your blog today!

  11. All our summers in Europe ... I was always on a hunt for ice.

    But cold soup ... is a great idea.


  12. Re. your comment on my blog, my sister was given a shower by her friends "just because" and got many wonderful updated things. But then they started to think about what they had potentially started, and who could afford a shower for all the friends, so that was the only shower given among her friends later in life.

    I'm not sure this recipe would sell in this house, but it is a good use for all the cukes our garden is producing and actually sounds pretty good!

  13. Buttermilk is something that I have just recently started buying. This soup looks fantastic.

  14. This post has brought back nice memories of Sunday meals living in the south. My polish grandmother used sauerkraut juice when she made stuffed cabbage. I used to be able to buy it when I lived in Texas but I haven't seen it in New England.

    1. I do find it in my local supermarket. It is also available at Whole Foods.

  15. I do enjoy cold cucumber soup but I've never seen one with sauerkraut juice in it. Sounds good to me!


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