Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Czech Soup for the Soul

There was a chill in the air this morning. As the days get shorter and the air turns cooler, when I think of food I start thinking: soup.

Soup is very important in Czech cuisine. There’s a Czech saying: “Soup forms the foundation of any meal.” Most Czech lunches start off with a first course of soup. So what makes Czech soup unique? It uses the ingredients common to the area, including carrots, potatoes, onions, parsley, onions, garlic, peppers and paprika.

A Czech cookbook will feature a variety of soups, including:
-Potato soup (bramboračka)
-Goulash soup (gulášová polévka)
-Tripe soup (dršťková polévka)
-Garlic soup (česnečka)
-Chicken noodle soup (kuřecí polévka s nudlemi)
-Beef soup with liver dumplings (hovězí polévka s játrovými knedlíčky)
-Sauerkraut soup (zelná polévka or zelňačka)
-Dill soup, made from sour milk (koprovka)
-Cream of mushroom soup (kulajda)

Hungry for soup now? Try this recipe:

Czech Potato Soup
-1/2 cup dried mushrooms or 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
-1 quart boiling water
-1 celery stalk
-1 large carrot, chopped
-1 medium onion finely chopped
-1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
-1/8 tsp. marjoram
-1 tsp. salt
-2 medium potatoes
-2 Tbls. flour
-2 Tbls. butter
-pepper to taste

1. Stir mushrooms into the boiling water, add celery, carrots, onion, caraway seeds, marjoram, salt and pepper and cook slowly for 1 hour.
2. Add potatoes and simmer 40 minutes more.
3. Make thickening by slightly browning flour and butter in skillet. Add to soup and bring to boil before serving.

-Heather Tinley, Opera Colorado Marketing Coordinator

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