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Traditional South Bohemian Mushroom Soup

Kulajda is typical soup from mushrooms, dill and cream made in South Bohemia. Our great-grandmothers made it from milk, which was sour. Today we use sour cream. Recipes for this soup are many, because every family designed the soup according to their taste. Somebody prefers sweet cream over sour cream and others don’t use dill. Even mushrooms are used fresh, dried or pickled. We have a traditional recipe for this thick creamy soup and you can improved as you want.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium large potatoes
  • 1 can of sour cream
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2 spoons of vinegar
  • 3 allspice
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • caraway
  • 2 spoons of flour
  • butter
  • dill
  • salt

Directions

  1. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Melt butter in pot and stir-fry mushrooms.
  2. Add cubed raw potatoes, spice and salt and pour water so potatoes are under.
  3. When potatoes soften, put out the spice add sour cream with flour and boil.
  4. Season soup with vinegar, salt and add chopped dill.
  5. At last we prepare eggs. Break an egg and put it gently in boiled water with a spoon of vinegar. Slowly boil it for 3-4 minutes. Then put egg out and put in cold water.
  6. Put egg in plate with soup.




Kyselica – Wallachian Sauerkraut Soup

They call it Wallachian Kingdom, Plumdom or Bolkovo, according to known actor Bolek Polívka (Oscar nominated Divided We Fall), who self-proclaimed himself as king of Wallachia. But the real treasure of this region resides in its cuisine. Kyselica is traditional cabbage soup of Wallachia consisting of potatoes and sauerkraut and smoked meat or bratwurst. Poor families of Wallachia had a saying “potatoes and cabbage – living on all age”. But since times changed, smoked meat found its way into the recipe. This thick soup used to be served for breakfast so men had enough strength for all-day work in woods. One portion is so hearty it can substitute lunch. Not to forget sauerkraut soup is very good for a body tormented by hangover from a New Year’s Eve or dancing ball. On the other side of White Carpathians, our federal brothers Slovaks make very similar soup called Kapustnica. While Kyselica is white, Kapustnica is red, because of adding paprika.

Ingredients

  • 300 g of potatoes
  • 400 g sauerkraut
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bratwurst or 200 g of smoked meat
  • 100 g of bacon
  • 2 spoons of butter
  • 3 spoons of soft wheat flour
  • 250 ml of cream or milk
  • pepper
  • salt
  • caraway
  • sugar
  • sour cream

Directions

  1. Peel potatoes, cut in cubes and boil in salt water with caraway.
  2. Squeeze out juice from sauerkraut in pot. Chop sauerkraut and add to pot with peppercorns, bay leaves and allspice. Pour in water and simmer.
  3. Chop onion, bacon and sausage (or meat). Melt butter in pan and stir-fry onion, bacon and sausage.
  4. Dust with flour and pour cream. Then add to sauerkraut with boiled potatoes.
  5. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sugar if it’s too sour.
  7. Garnish each portion with sour cream.

Wallachian Kyselica




Garlic Soup with Cheese and Croutons

Garlic is one of the most frequent ingredient in Czech cuisine. Garlic soup (česnečka) is the most used cure for hangover in Czech Republic. There’s nothing better to put you on your feet after a long night in a bar than strong garlic soup. It’s very simple and quick to make so you can try it yourself.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 garlic bulbs (about 10 cloves)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 3 potatoes
  • cheese
  • bread
  • salt, pepper
  • marjoram
  • caraway

Directions

  1. Peel onion, garlic and potatoes.
  2. Chop onion and stir-fry in oil. Chop, cut or mince garlic and add to onion.
  3. Fry shortly then pour hot water in pot.
  4. Cut potatoes and put in water. Also put in bouillon cube.
  5. Salt and pepper the soup and add caraway.
  6. Cook till the potatoes are tender.
  7. In the end season with marjoram. If the soup is not strong enough add minced garlic.
  8. Serve in bowl with grated cheese and croutons, which you prepared from the bread.




Potato Soup

Potato soup has signaficant position between soups in Czech cuisine. It’s prepared in various ways according to region or family recipes.

Ingredients

  • 500g of potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery
  • 1 parsley root
  • parsley sprig
  • mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 spoons of flour
  • marjoram
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • bouillon cube
  • salt, pepper
  • oil

Directions

  1. In large pot saute chopped onion in oil and add flour and stir until it has golden color.
  2. Pour 1,5l of water stir and bring to boiling point.
  3. Add cutted vegetables, potatoes and mushrooms and boil slowly until everything is tender.
  4. Add bouillon cube and season with salt, pepper, garlic, marjoram and parsley sprig. Allspice and bay-leaf could be used as well.
  5. Let cook for another few minutes and serve with bread.




Typical Czech Cuisine

Czech cuisine is famous for its varieties of meat, which plays the main role on a plate, and further for the variety of delicious sauces, dumplings and soups.

Local tastes

As in every countryCzech_fried_cheese, the traditional cuisine of the Czech Republic is given by its location, its climate and crops which find favourable conditions in this area. It is no wonder then that in this moderate climate with large water areas, many rivers and forests the typical meals consist of field crops, vegetables and game. The Czech cuisine is also rich in mushrooms, for the Czechs are quite keen mushroom pickers and the climate in this country, as well as in the most Central Europe, is just perfect for growth of mushrooms. When it comes to desserts then, the Czech land is rich in many kinds of pulp fruit and berries used in cakes together with curd cheese, walnut and poppy seed. One of the main characteristics of Czech cuisine is that the meal usually consists of a soup and a main course. The soup has quite often a form of broth with various ingredients, mostly vegetables according to the season, and pastinas. Thickened soups are also very common and traditional way of preparation. As a thickener the Czechs usually use roux of flour and the most typical ingredients are legumes, sausages or giblets. This kind of soup can be served as a main course with bread. Traditional soups include for example the potato soup, bean soup, lentil soup, cabbage soup, mushroom soup, fish soup – which many households hold for their traditional Christmas soup, and so on. Another typical feature of Czech cuisine is meat, the Czechs hardly pass a day without a proper portion of meat for lunch. Traditional meat on a Czech table is pork, poultry, beef, fish. Veal and mutton are rarer in use and in regions with gamekeeping tradition it is not a problem, in certain seasons, to have a nice boar or roe deer noisette. On festive occasions, the Czechs mostly relish roast mallard or goose with cabbage and dumplings. As you can see, the range is pretty wide. The ways of preparation, on the other hand, are to a certain extent alike. It is mostly roasting or frying – as our favourite schnitzel or anything covered with breadcrumbs or as the typical and almost legendary Czech fried cheese.

 

Sauces and side dish

utopenci

What mostly comes with meat is either potatoes, which have rooted in the Czech cuisine really deeply since they were brought form the US, or the already mentioned fluffy dumplings. Czech cookery is also known for its almost excessive use of various sauces. These sauces are prepared on béchamel-like basis

and the most traditional ones are the dill sauce, tomato sauce, mushroom sauce, paprika sauce and the very favourite cream sauce which is made with root vegetable and goes so well with sirloin, lemon and cranberries. Apart from these quite heavy on flour and cream sauces, there are variants as the side dish to meat. Mostly it is vegetables such as stewed spinach or cabbage.

Snacks and desserts

In pubs you can order also small snacks with your beer. The most traditional and omnipotent ones are a pickled bratwurst called the ‘drown man’, pickled camembert-like cheese usually with a pepperoni, very often you can also have a garlic toast, and of course that it would not be a proper pub without a proper goulash, although it is originally a Hungarian meal. As a dessert you can have a strudel, which is also borrowed, from Austria this time, but has long ago found its place on Czech tables. Typical are various kinds of cakes with fruit fillings made of plums, cherries, peaches, apples, blueberries and so on; or with poppy seed, walnut, curd cheese and raisins. In Wallachia you can find more kinds in one big cake called ‘frgál’ which was included in the European Commission’s list of products with protected geographical indication quite recently.

So, as you can easily conclude, Czech cuisine is not of the healthiest ones. The amount of meat, cream based sauces, and also smoked meats and sausages, etc., makes it quite heavy but very, very rich in nutrition. Yet it has its tradition and if done really properly and well, it has its unmistakeable magic. The traditional meals can be found in almost every restaurant. It is still good, though, to find a better place to taste the real sweet smoothness of cream sauce with a slice of sirloin, good roast duck with red cabbage and bread dumplings, or a really nice mushroom soup.