Kristen Bell's Grandma Passed Down This "Heavenly" Pickle Soup Recipe to Her—Here's How to Make It

Despite being "one of the weirdest recipes I have ever come across," Bell says she now makes this beloved recipe for guests.

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Kristen Bell on a background of pickles
Photo: Getty Images / Jim Spellman / pleshko74

You've probably spooned with chicken noodle soup, chili, broccoli-cheese and perhaps even most of our 50 soups you'll want to make forever. But have you ever slurped up some pickle soup?

Stick with us here … this isn't just for those whose adoration of pickles runs so deep, they'll invest in pickle candy canes and pickle cotton candy. This is actually a Polish tradition that actress/entrepreneur/activist/podcast host Kristen Bell's relatives clued her in about.

"First of all, just resist judging it," she tells Good Morning America. "It sounded gross the first time my mom made it for me. I was like, 'you cannot be serious that you just poured that pickle juice into the soup, that's gnarly.' And I'm a big fan of pickles." (Psst…if you are, too, then you'll likely swoon over our top 8 recipes for pickle-lovers!)

The mom of two quickly changed her tune, however.

"It is one of the weirdest recipes I have ever come across and it was from my grandmother and my mom used to make it. I don't know if it's Polish, most of the recipes in our family cookbook are, it is so delicious," she continued.

Polish it is—and you can find several renditions of Polish Pickle Soup (including this five-star Authentic Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Orgorkowa) we can't wait to try) in the archives of our sister brand, Allrecipes. It's frequently sold at Polish markets and delis, but hasn't exactly become a mainstay in the U.S. ... yet. But with the proliferation of pickle-infused or pickle-flavored products like popcorn, hummus, almonds and more, it's about time for pickle soup to have it's moment in the sun! (Or, you know, your slow cooker.)

Most versions start with a combo of potatoes, celery, carrots and onion, plus chicken broth.

"Then you're putting in the actual pickle juice from the jar and chopping up the pickles," Bell tells Good Morning America. After allowing this to simmer in a slow cooker for about 4 hours, milk, flour and sour cream join the party to make the mixture pleasantly bisque-like. "You don't boil the soup, which is great for me because I often walk away from the stove—this is just a low simmer the whole time. It's a little bit creamy and tangy from sour cream and it's just heavenly. Even my kids who are not super into crazy foods tried it and like it."

You likely won't find soup recipes like this sold in cans at the supermarket, and its unique nature is part of its appeal, Bell adds. When she's dished up pickle soup to those who haven't tried it before, she says, "Everybody thinks it's going to be gross, but everyone loves it—it's the hit of the evening."

Deeming it "a festive soup for an event," Bell's soup seems like a dreamy addition to any casual holiday dinner gathering this season. Get Kristen Bell's Dill Pickle Soup recipe here, and keep that appliance handy to try more from our 30 nights of hearty slow-cooker soups and stews.

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