Dill Pickle Soup


I love soup, and today I’m going to share my personal dill pickle soup recipe.

If you’ve never tried dill pickle soup before, you’re probably wondering why in the world someone would ever want to eat pickles in their soup.  It sounds disgusting, right?  I had the same thought the first time my parents made me try it while we were in a Polish restaurant, but I haven’t looked back since. 

Overall, this soup is thin and light like chicken soup, but the milk gives it a very slight creaminess that goes with it oddly well.  You would think the pickles would be overpowering and weird and the brine would make the soup gross and vinegary, but if you’re a fan of dill pickles like I am, that’s surprisingly not the case.  I’ll fully admit that there’s an odd combination of ingredients going on here, but if you’ve never tried it before, give it a shot!

One of the best things about this recipe (aside from the fact that it makes the best comfort food) is that it’s pretty easy to customize if you want it to be vegetarian/vegan or avoid dairy or gluten or whatevs.  Just make sure the ingredients you use are free of whatever you don’t want to be eating and/or omit the barley if it’s something you avoid.  It’s also pretty low in calories, so if you want to eat a lot of it, you don’t really have to feel bad.

This recipe makes four pretty good sized bowls of soup, however if you’re serving it with other things (like pierogies!), you can totally stretch it out to 8 servings and use smaller bowls (around 1 cup).

There are tons of different recipes for dill pickle soup out there and seemingly a lot of variations, but this is how I like to make mine, and it’s about as close to the one in the restaurant as I could get.  Hope you enjoy it!


1T  Butter and/or Olive Oil
1  Carrot
2  Stalks Celery
1  Yellow Onion
1  Potato (Yukon Gold works best, but you can also use Russet)
2  Dill Pickles  (I use Claussen)
8c  Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1/4c  Pickle Brine
1/4c  Barley  (Optional, but recommended)
1/2c  Milk  (I use whole milk, but you can use low fat, or rice milk for a dairy free option)
1  Handful Fresh Dill, Chopped
Kosher Salt (Optional)


  1. Using a food processor (or a sharp knife and your best chopping skills), chop the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces.
  2. Place the butter/oil in your dutch oven and set it to medium heat.  Then, stir in your chopped vegetables and let them cook until they start to soften, stirring occasionally.  (Turn the heat down to a low simmer and/or add water if things start to brown.)  If you like adding salt to your soup, this is when I usually throw in a small handful of kosher salt.
  3. While your vegetable trifecta is cooking, peel the potato and cut it into small pieces.  I like to cut mine into four lengthwise, then cut it into four lengthwise in the other direction, then chop the rectangular prisms of potato widthwise to create little cubes.  Once your potatoes are peeled and chopped, add them into the dutch oven.
  4. Using your food processor’s grating attachment, finely grate your pickles.  Add your grated pickles to the pot.
  5. Add in all 8 cups of your broth, plus the pickle brine.  Stir everything together and increase the heat to high to bring your soup to a boil.
  6. When your soup starts to bubble, add in the barley and stir well.
  7. Place the lid on your pot and turn down the heat to a simmer.  Allow the soup to cook (covered, or with the cover vented) for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and barley are fully cooked and softened.
  8. Turn off the heat, then stir in your milk of choice and your fresh parsley.

Allow your soup to cool, then serve!

Some people like to garnish their soup with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill, but Luke and I both hate sour cream, so to each their own.

Time:  45 Minutes

Servings:  4 Bowls

Nutrition:  4.9g Protein, 27g Carbs, 4.6g Fat, 167 Calories

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