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Bramboračka: Czech Potato Soup with Wild Forrest Mushrooms for #MeatlessMonday

by Spicie Foodie on December 9, 2013

Czech Potato Soup served inside a bread bowl by @SpicieFoodie | #soup #mushrooms #potato #Czech #vegan #MeatlessMonday

I’m sitting on my balcony this bright sunny day; it’s only 11 am and the temperature has already hit 27°C (81°F). I’m wearing shorts and a thin tank top, beside me is a glass of ice-cold water pouring condensation down its sides. The only sounds I hear are the palm and tree leaves swaying with each gentle breeze. Now and then I hear calls from Great-tailed Grackles that live in the trees nearby. A setting which has now become normality, yet one quite different than the last time I made a pot of hearty potato soup.

Czech Potato Soup served inside a bread bowl by @SpicieFoodie | #soup #mushrooms #potato #Czech #vegan #MeatlessMonday

The last time I cooked bramboračka, or Czech potato soup, was a cold, overcast Autumn day that is typical to Prague during this season. Instead of shorts I was wearing jeans, a heavy sweater, thick socks and sipping tea. The very first time I tasted this soup was a day exactly like the last time bramboračka took it’s place on my table. We had only just arrived to the city; we didn’t speak one word of Czech and were clueless about the cuisine of this beautiful country. Somehow we stumbled upon a quiet restaurant in the city centre that offered traditional Czech cuisine in a pretty setting. The staff spoke English and were able to gives us recommendations of their favourite foods on the menu, this delicious soup was one of them.

Czech Potato Soup served inside a bread bowl by @SpicieFoodie | #soup #mushrooms #potato #Czech #vegan #MeatlessMonday

Bramboračka is made with potatoes as the base (brambor means potatoes) and a variety of roots vegetables are also mixed in. The other component which gives this soup even more flavour is the dried, and soaked, wild mushrooms. I’ve read some recipes where people don’t use them, but the soups I was served in Czech restaurants always included mushrooms. Another ingredient that may or may not be used and that, to me, is one of the strong flavours of Czech cuisine is marjoram. Typically the soup is served inside a small hollowed out loaf of Czech rye and caraway bread, this is a meal all its own. The other way of serving bramboračka is in a regular soup bowl. My preference was always the bread bowl but if you want just a small starter then go with the ceramic bowl option.

Czech Potato Soup served inside a bread bowl by @SpicieFoodie | #soup #mushrooms #potato #Czech #vegan #MeatlessMonday

I know many of you are in need of a hearty soup to warm you right up, and this soup is it! Bramboračka is no ordinary potato soup; it is a complex mix of flavours that will arouse your tastebuds and leave you wanting another bowl. This creamy hearty soup is one I highly recommend cooking for a dinner party or your Christmas dinner. The ingredients are all in season right now and it is also quite an economical meal, which can come in handy this time of year.

Czech Potato Soup served inside a bread bowl by @SpicieFoodie | #soup #mushrooms #potato #Czech #vegan #MeatlessMonday

Okay, here’s the way I learned to make Czech potato soup.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bramboračka: Czech Potato Soup with Wild Forrest Mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A one of a kind soup that is bursting with flavours and perfect for a Meatless Monday meal or a holiday dinner. Plus all of the ingredients are in season and it's a budget friendly recipe!
Author:
Recipe type: Soup, Meatless Monday, Vegetable, Vegean
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian, Czech, European
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
Main Ingredients:
  • 500 gm or 1 lb. of potatoes, peeled and evenly cubed (cut larger than other vegetables)
  • 35 gm or 1.25 oz dried wild forrest mushrooms, or variety of choice*
  • 1(200 gm or large) carrot, peeled and evenly cut
  • 200 gm or 7 oz piece of celeriac root, peeled and evenly cut
  • 200 gm or 7 oz Napa (curly) cabbage, throughly rinsed and evenly cut
  • 1 small leek, green and roots cut off, use only white part, evenly sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs olive or vegetable oil of choice
  • 1.5 Lt. or 6 cups of vegetable broth (or dissolve low-sodium, no MSG bouillon in water)
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram, or adjust to taste
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour (I’ve also used spelt and fine gluten-free oat flour)
Optional Ingredients:
  • small bread loafs to use as bread bowls
  • finely chopped chives or parsley to serve over soup
Instructions
  1. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any dirt or debris, then place in small bowl and pour hot water over them; allow to soak until needed. In a large pot heat the oil and once warm add the onions, cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add all of the chopped vegetables, except for mushrooms, and sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Pour in the mushrooms, I also pour in the soaking water but that is up to you. Next sprinkle in the salt and pepper, then gently pour in water and stir until it is well combined. Over medium-low heat simmer until the vegetables become soft. After the vegetables have soften prepare the roux by mixing the flour with a bit of the soup broth until you have a lump-free thick liquid; pour it into the soup and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired, at this time add the dried marjoram and allow to simmer another 10 minutes. Again, taste and adjust seasonings if desired — sometimes I like to add a bit more marjoram but that is up to you.
To Serve Inside Bread Bowls:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C or 390°F and have a baking sheet ready to use. Cut a circle in the centre of the top of the bread loaf. Use a spoon to hollow out as much space inside of the bread as you wish. Gently brush the other part of the bread and the cut out “lid” with a some oil, lay on baking sheet and place inside oven. Allow the bread to crisp up a bit, or toast, this should take anywhere from 6-15 minutes depending on the size of your bread bowl. Carefully remove the toasted bread from oven place on serving plates. Ladle in the soup into the toasted bread bowl, garnish with either chopped chives or parsley if desired. You can place the bread lid over the bread bowl or serve it on the side for people to break off pieces and eat along with their soup.
Notes
*I like to use dried wild forrest mushrooms but you can use any variety you like. Different mushrooms will add a different flavour. Also if dried mushrooms are not available to you then fresh seasonal varieties are great too!

Czech Potato Soup served inside a bread bowl by @SpicieFoodie | #soup #mushrooms #potato #Czech #vegan #MeatlessMonday

Bramboračka quickly became one of my most favourite soups, and even though I can no longer eat it inside a toasted bread bowl it will still continue to be among my favourites. Regardless if you serve it in a bread bowl or not this is a hearty meatless meal that your whole family will love.

Czech Potato Soup served inside a bread bowl by @SpicieFoodie | #soup #mushrooms #potato #Czech #vegan #MeatlessMonday

Speaking of meatless meals, I have some great news to share with you. I am thrilled to announce that I am now an Official Blogger for the Meatless Monday movement. It’s great becoming an official part of the movement as meatless meals are among my favourite ones to cook, eat and share with you; I also think the work they are doing is wonderful. You know you don’t have to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, just go meatless on Mondays.

For information about the Meatless Monday campaign and movement visit their website by clicking on the badge below.

Official Meatless Monday Blogger

Have a super (meat-free) Monday and don’t forget to check out my archives for many more meatless meals. Enjoy!
 
 

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie

 

in European,Meatless Mondays,Soups/Stews,Vegan/Vegetarian

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa December 9, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Beautifully presented and surely mighty scrumptious!

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Spicie Foodie December 9, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Thank you Rosa!

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3 Evelyne@cheapethniceatz December 9, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Such Eastern European recipes are indeed incredible and this one is very hardy and amazing looking…..not for your weather. Here is would be perfect: 10cm of snow but not cold ;-)

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4 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Hi Evelyne,
Yes, it would be perfect for the wintery weather you’re having.:)

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5 Suzanne Perazzini December 9, 2013 at 9:02 PM

It’s pretty warm here too now but not that hot yet. This soup would make a great winter dish – love all the veges and flavours.

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6 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM

That’s right you’re summer is just starting there, so I’ll have to check out your hot weather recipes. Thanks Suzanne!

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7 IshitaUnblogged December 10, 2013 at 12:20 AM

I have tasted this Bramboračka in my Prague visit last December. It’s heavenly. And as usual the photographs are stunning – pinning some:)

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8 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM

So you know exactly how delicious and comforting the soup is. Thank you:)

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9 Joanne T Ferguson December 10, 2013 at 1:02 AM

G’day! What a warm and welcoming dish Nancy, true!
Stunning photos as always; they continue to inspire me too!
Cheers! Joanne

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10 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Thank you Joanne!:)

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11 Victoria of Flavors of the Sun December 10, 2013 at 6:54 PM

What a terrific winter soup. I love both the look and the sound of it–even if you don’t want it right now as you sit on your balcony in the sun!

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12 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Thanks so much Victoria. I know I’ll still crave it during the warm days here, but I’m too distracted by the local food right now.;)

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13 easyfoodsmith December 11, 2013 at 2:01 AM

This soup has all my favorite ingredients and I am loving this robust soup. Lovely presentation.

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14 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Thank you and enjoy!

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15 Ash-foodfashionparty December 11, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Oh, gorgeous.
A beautiful looking soup. You definitely inspire to cook different.
Loving the flavors. Pinned.

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16 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Thank you Ash!:)

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17 John@Kitchen Riffs December 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM

I’ve not heard of this before. Perfect for the weather we’re experiencing! Thanks.

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18 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I hope you give it a try sometime John, thank you!

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19 Ramona December 12, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I could use bowls and bowls of warm soup. We are below freezing today… all day. Urgh!

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20 Spicie Foodie December 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Brrr! I hope you do make a big pot of soup to keep warm with, Ramona.:)

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21 Rézi December 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Hi, I am czech and I also live in Prague! I cooked Bramboračka today, it’s one of my favorites… I like to have LOTS of marjoram in it, but the flour has better taste when you stir-fry it on butter and add it to the soup when the flour is becoming golden. Czech people often add some smoked meat (or bones) when the soup is boiling.

Eventhough my soup was delicious I would definitely eat yours after finishing with mine. I never have enough :)

Next time try “Fazolovka” which is czech bean soup. It’s quite similar to Bramboračka, but it deserves a chance. :)

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22 Spicie Foodie December 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Hi Rezi,

Thank you for the tip about the flour and smoked meat bones, it sounds great and I will definitely try it next time I cook bramboracka!

Yes, I know Fazolovka and love it too! I will look up a recipe or if you have one please share it;)

Diky moc a vesele vanoce!

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23 Laura @ Family Spice December 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

What a wonderful soup! I think my husband would eat the whole pot. We have had some cold spells here in San Diego, not that I’m comparing it to snow territory! And congratulations on working with Meatless Monday! What a great group!

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24 Spicie Foodie December 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Thank you Laura! I hope you can give the soup a try sometime, enjoy!

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25 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today December 16, 2013 at 5:04 AM

We make it in Polish mountains. It’s delicious.

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26 Spicie Foodie December 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

That’s great and so you know how yummy it is!:)

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