Rosół is the king and base for other soups. It’s warming, satisfying, and good for colds and sadness – here’s a recipe for making rosół for beginners and advanced cooks.

All you need to know about rosół

    Rosół – where did the “king of soups” come from?

    Although no one remembers it anymore, it is suspected that rosół originally came about as a result of long-cooking meat, which was preserved in a large amount of salt in ancient times. Such a broth was called “rozsół” (meaning “dissolved in salt”) and this is how the name of the most popular Polish soup came about.

    Many people, especially those who are just starting out in the kitchen, are afraid of preparing rosół, thinking that it is a “higher school of driving”. And indeed, the vast amount of advice and ways of preparing it can be overwhelming. In fact, preparing rosół may not be “a piece of cake”, but it’s not “black magic” either. Even if the soup doesn’t turn out well at first, it will definitely work out another time.

    Is Consomme royale the same as Polish rosół?

    Consommé Royale and Polish Rosół are two different types of clear soups, each with its own unique characteristics.

    Consommé Royale is a renowned French soup made by refining a delicious, savory stock with egg whites and garnishing it with a variety of diced vegetables, herbs, and occasionally meat. This is a classic dish in French cuisine and is often reserved for formal occasions.

    In contrast, Polish Rosół is a traditional soup from Poland that is typically made from chicken or beef broth, with a blend of vegetables, herbs, and spices. It is often served with thin noodles, diced vegetables, and sometimes meat.

    While both soups may share similarities, such as being clear and made from stock, they differ in terms of their flavor profile and preparation technique. Consommé Royale is known for its crystal-clear appearance and delicate flavors, while Polish Rosół is prized for its hearty and comforting taste.

    What meat for rosół?

    The basic, classic “ingredient” for making rosół is chicken meat (not chicken breasts). It is best if it is a whole carcass or thigh. Beef (usually shank or brisket) and veal, often mixed in any proportions with chicken meat, are also popular base for making it.

    Aside from the “standard” types of meat, in various regions, duck broth, pheasant broth, quail broth, rabbit broth, and also domestic pigeon broth are also prepared. Usually, pork meat is not used to prepare it.

    What vegetables for rosół?

    What vegetables do I need?

    In addition to meat, we will also need washed and peeled vegetables to prepare the broth: carrots (preferably more – about 3-4 pieces, to achieve a beautiful color), parsley (1-2 pieces are enough), as well as a piece of celery root. However, these are not all the ingredients that can be used in the broth.

    A typical addition that will give our broth flavor is onion. According to classic recipes, it should be roasted over an open flame or – if we don’t have gas burners – baked in the oven under the grill. I never skip this part as this preparation method gives the broth an extra taste and aroma.

    Some people also add cabbage to their broth. However, like other additives, it affects the taste and smell of the soup, so not everyone may like this addition.

    What cabbage to add to the broth? In this case, both regular white cabbage, as well as Savoy cabbage or Chinese cabbage, which we might have left over from making a salad, will work perfectly. For a pot of broth, about a quarter of a head of white or Savoy cabbage or about 1/2 of a small Chinese cabbage is enough.

    When to add vegetables to the broth?

    Although we can put them in the pot with the meat, it’s better to do it a bit later. Firstly, because they need less time to cook than the meat. Secondly, excessive thermal treatment deprives them of valuable vitamins.

    It’s worth adding salt to the broth just before adding the vegetables or only at the very end of cooking. This way, before seasoning it, the soup will have time to “settle” and we’ll have greater control over its taste.

    Preparing broth is a time-consuming process, mainly because it’s best to cook it over low heat (so that it barely simmers, rather than boils vigorously). Thanks to this, our broth will be more clear and taste – better. The broth is cooked until the meat becomes tender, which usually takes about two hours.

    How to season broth?

    The classic spices for broth are primarily salt and black pepper (usually whole peppercorns but not necessary). Some people also add bay leaf and allspice. Personally, I only add salt, pepper, parsley, and lovage – like in the traditional polish rosół recipe.

    Depending on taste and the desired color and flavor, you can also add: parsley, lovage, a few dried mushrooms (especially chanterelles, which won’t overpower the broth), garlic, and even cloves.

    To salt rosół, you should add salt to the soup gradually, checking the taste after each addition until it reaches your desired level of saltiness. It’s important to add salt towards the end of cooking, as the broth will become more concentrated as it simmers, and adding too much salt at the beginning can result in an overly salty soup. A good rule of thumb is to start with a small amount of salt and adjust as needed. Remember, it’s easier to add salt than to remove it, so take it slow and taste frequently!

    Chicken soup step by step

    We have a recipe on our website called: Traditional Rosół Recipe – Chicken Consommé in Polish style You can look there.

    Once the meat and vegetables are prepared, you can start cooking. There are two “schools” of thought on how to begin. According to the first one, the meat should be thrown into boiling water. When “scum” appears, or when the soup starts to foam (brownish foam is formed from coagulated protein), you should either collect and discard it, or pour out all the liquid and cover the meat with fresh water. This method is recommended when you want to obtain a clear soup and/or use the cooked meat as a second course, as it remains juicier that way. Unfortunately, if you only collect the foam without pouring out the water, some “scum” may remain in the broth, spoiling its clarity.

    According to the second school, the meat is covered with cold water and then boiled. Any possible “scum,” which should be minimal when using this method, should also be removed. This method is recommended especially when you want to obtain a very flavorful soup.

    How to serve rosół

    Traditional Rosół Recipe serving proposition

    A classic, traditional broth is served with thin pasta, usually noodles or ribbons. You will definitely find some information about addiction, like rice or even semolina, but that is a “modern” way of serving. There is a way of making special “kluski”. You do it by mixing the egg with a small amount of white flour. It has to be a quite thick consistency, without any lumps, but thick enough to be able to pour it into the boiling broth. Also, that is the way of serving broth for toddlers as noodles are more delicate than pasta.

    How to make the most of broth leftovers?

    There is a funny thing about the leftover rosół in a Polish family home. When I was young, I and almost all my friends, had tomato soup on Monday. The reason behind it is simple – the best and simplest way to prepare tomato soup is to add tomato pure to chicken broth. Then some added rice or ate it with pasta, the same way as rosół, but with a tomato twist. It was almost a tradition that every Sunday in Polish houses you will have chicken soup for dinner, as a first course, so it was natural to have tomato soup on Monday.

    Common problems, such as broth like jelly, sour broth, or bitter broth

    Why is broth cloudy?

    It is best not to use frozen or quickly thawed meat in broth, as its addition can cause the broth to become cloudy. However, if that’s the only meat available, it should be thawed before cooking. To do this, it’s best to transfer it from the freezer to the fridge the day before.

    It is also important to thoroughly wash the meat in warm (but not hot) water before preparing the broth. This will remove any impurities from its surface that could make the broth cloudy.

    Why isn’t broth yellow?

    Broth made with chicken and a small amount of carrot usually doesn’t have a beautiful golden color. If you’re wondering why the broth isn’t yellow and want to give it a beautiful color without the addition of artificial enhancers, adding more carrots to the broth (during cooking) can improve its color. Onion in its skin can also be added to the broth (removing the outer layer that may be dirty but leaving one of the golden skins). This method gives the broth a more yellow color – similar to the way Easter eggs were traditionally prepared. Adding beetroot can also improve the color of our broth.

    Why is broth sweet?

    A quite common problem that arises during broth cooking is that it becomes sweet. The reason is not difficult to detect. This happens when you add too much carrots to the broth and too little salt to the soup.

    So how do you choose the right number of carrots for the soup? For a pot of broth with a capacity of about 4-5 liters, you need to add about 3-4 medium carrots. Sometimes less is better.

    Broth like jelly?

    It’s completely normal if you’ve just taken it out of the fridge. Since we prepare it with meat that is on the bones, the broth thickens under the influence of low temperature. However, this is not what should draw our attention.

    Sour or bitter broth

    More disturbing is the change in the taste of the soup. When the broth turns sour or bitter, we should not eat it anymore, as it can result in stomach problems. The broth should be stored in the fridge for a maximum of three days. To make it the best, it is best to separate the meat and vegetables from it. If they remain in the broth for longer, the soup will change slightly in taste, which not everyone likes.

    What are the properties of chicken soup for a cold?

    Why is chicken soup often recommended as a natural “remedy” for a cold? Not just because it warms us up so well because of the chicken fat content (that’s why you shouldn’t use chicken breast for this purpose).

    It’s all because, during cooking, vitamins and minerals from vegetables and meat penetrate into the soup, especially: potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A and E. Unfortunately, vitamin C “evaporates” at high temperatures. However, you can easily supplement it by sprinkling chopped parsley on the soup before serving.

    Rosół it’s not only chicken soup

    The broth is not only excellent in itself. You can also prepare many other dishes based on it. If you put broth in the fridge and then remove the fat that will appear on top after some time, you will get a broth (i.e. skimmed broth) that will work perfectly as a base for all kinds of soups. Or simply fry it in a pan until golden brown and consume it as an appetizer.

    You can store the broth in the fridge or freezer in a sealed jar for about 3 months. From cooked meat, you can prepare delicious dumplings, pyzy or croquettes, or chicken jelly.

    Fun fact – rosół as a hangover soup

    Are you making hangover soup? Rosół (chicken broth) is full of electrolytes, which you lack after consuming alcohol. Add some juice from pickled cabbage to the soup (after it’s already cooked). This will make it both nutritious and refreshing, and it will also help with digestion. Drink it from a cup without pasta and you will fill much better almost incidentally.