Chicken and Beef Soup with Semolina Dumplings

Every Croatian Christmas table has a rich soup made with meat, dumplings or noodles, and vegetables. Soups are usually made from chicken or beef, but for Christmas both types of meat are used for richer, festive taste. Meat used for soups has to have bones for that strong, flavorful taste of a home made soup.

This recipe is part of Foodies+ Christmas Recipes from Around the World cookbook, amazing cookbook with over 400 pages that shares many recipes you can use all year round. All proceeds are going to Action Against Hunger.

Ingredients for the soup

serves 10

  • 1 kg chicken meat with bones
  • 1 kg beef with bones
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 medium parsley roots
  • ½ kohlrabi
  • ¼ cabbage head
  • ¼ kale head
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 celery root
  • 1 potato
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 black pepper grains
  • salt
  • 2 liters of water
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley leaves for garnish

Preparation

  1. Wash the meat briefly in cold water and place it in a pot of cold water. That way the soup will have stronger flavor.
  2. Fry the whole onion on all it’s sides in a dry pan.
  3. When the water comes to boil, add cleaned, length cut vegetables, salt, black pepper grains and previously fried onion, all except tomato. Tomato is added when other vegetables become soft.
  4. When the soup comes to boil again, set heat to low and let it cook for 2 more hours.
  5. Before you strain the soup, add small glass of water and let the soup sit aside for a bit, this way the soup will be clearer.
  6. Take the meat out, strain the soup and cook in semolina dumplings.

Along with homemade soup noodles, dumplings are most common addition to Croatian soups. If you don’t have one or the other, soup is considered “empty”. There are three types of dumplings that are made: liver semolina dumplings, simple semolina dumplings and flour dumplings. In the old days when people had their own chickens running around, liver semolina dumplings were more common. These days, you buy chicken without the insides, and simple semolina dumplings are more common.

Ingredients for the dumplings

  • 1 egg divided
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp semolina
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Preparation

  1. Mix oil and egg yolk until foamy.
  2. Add semolina, salt and parsley.
  3. Mix egg white until stiff.
  4. When all is well combined, stir in gently stiffed egg white.

Make dumplings with teaspoon and put one by one into boiled soup. Cook them for about 15 minutes until they are soft and tender. Watch out not to overcooked them because they will fall apart.

Serving
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Do you prepare soups for Holidays? Which one is your favorite?

Beef Stew with Polenta

We planned to make a traditional beef stew. We added some Mediterranean spices and pelati. We got stew Dalmatian way 😀
Anyway, try making this dish by replacing beef with octopus, squid or other seafood and you will get a genuine Dalmatian brudet.

(Zvonimir: Jasmina wanted a stew, I was in a mood for brudet, so we compromised 😀 )

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Beef stew with polenta

Tools you need

Ingredients

  • 600 g of beef chopped in small cubes
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 small tomatoes – pelati
  • 1.5 l of water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • mixed dry seasoning: thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil and oregano
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil

Preparation

Fry chopped onions and garlic on oil.
Add meat, salt, pepper and fry until golden brown, then add parsley and bay leaf with mixed seasoning.

Mix well and add pelati and water. Cook for about 40 minutes to an hour until the meat gets soft and tender.
Finally add a tablespoon of bread crumbs and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Add more spices or salt as desired.
Cook to the boiling point.

Polenta

Ingredients

  • 50 g of corn meal
  • 1 l of water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Preparation

Boil the water, add salt and oil.
Gently pour the cornmeal into the boiling water, stirring constantly, to avoid creating lumps.
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning polenta.

Serve the stew with polenta by pouring the stew over the polenta. Lettuce seasoned with vinaigrette makes a great addition to a complete meal.

Enjoy 🙂