Now, it may not look like much, but that is possibly the best bowl of soup I have ever eaten in my life: nourishing red beetroot broth sprinkled with fresh dill, and loaded to the brim with chewy, savoury dumplings so flawless they could have been featured in a textbook (if one were to write a textbook about dumplings, that is). There was absolutely nothing about this soup that needed changing. The flavors were exquisite, the composition perfect, and when paired with some crusty Polish rye, it was completely filling as well.

Not bad for $5, no?

I’m searching for apartments right now, and this soup (courtesy of the unbelievably charming Cafe Polonez) is almost single-handedly responsible for my newfound desire to move to Roncesvalles Ave.

“Roncy Village,” as dubbed by my fellow Torontonians, is the epicentre of Toronto’s Polish immigrant community. Unlike the Polish population in my hometown of Milwaukee, which established itself at the turn of the last century, Roncy’s Poles began arriving after WWII and it’s not uncommon to hear Polish spoken along the streets among both young and old. In fact, when my paternal grandparents came to visit in June for my graduation, my Polish grandfather (or, as I call him, Dziadzia) delighted in the opportunity to practice his Polish on our friendly server at Roncy’s Krak restaurant.

While Roncesvalles is probably too far west for me to consider for purposes of habitation, a girl can dream. I choose to dream about Polish hospitality and beet soup. That, and perhaps a bottle or two of my fave Polish brewski:

This label reminds me of my days as a Polish folk dancer, circa 1999 (image courtesy of

(P.S. This recipe that I found online seems to be the closest approximation of the soup I ate yesterday for those of you brave souls who wish to try making it yourselves. I highly suggest replacing the recipe’s parsley garnish with freshly chopped dill.)