Zagorje Potato Soup

Zagorje potato soup has many variations as each household adds something to make it special and uniquely theirs. Although dried mushrooms are sometimes added to this soup, we made it without them this time.

Main ingredients are potatoes and sour cream, so the fact that we didn’t have mushrooms didn’t affect the taste of this invigorating soup in a significant way.

We started with a recipe from Croatian chef Mladen Marušić and adjusted the measures (his recipe is made to serve 10 people) and ingredients based on those we had available.

If you use dried mushrooms, soak them previously in hot water until soften. If you use fresh mushrooms, clean, wash, and slice them finely.


  • 2 tbsp of vegetable, canola or sunflower oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable, canola or sunflower oil for “zaprška” (browned flour)
  • 50 g bacon/pancetta
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) white wine
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp ground red paprika
  • 150 ml (10 tbsp) sour cream
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) vinegar
  • 1 l (4 cups) stock or clear soup
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • finely chopped parsley leaves for garnish

Preparation mise en place

  1. Chop the onion finely.
  2. Cut pancetta to strips.
  3. Peal the potatoes and cut them into small cubes.
  4. Cut the red pepper into pea-sized cubes.
  5. Blanche the tomato in hot water for couple of minutes and peel of the skin. Chop it finely.


  1. On a medium to high temperature in a large saucepan on oil fry the onion and pancetta until soft and translucent.
  2. Add potatoes and fry them for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper and fry for another couple of minutes.
  4. Season all the ingredients with salt and pepper and after they are combined add stock or soup. Do a taste test as you season.
  5. Add blanched tomato to the soup, white wine, and bay leaf. If necessary, add more salt and pepper. Allow the soup to cook until all the ingredients soften.
  6. To make “zaprška” (browned flour), in a separate small saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil. Add as much flour as oil can absorb to the hot oil. Fry the flour briefly until it becomes reddish but not burned, then add the ground red paprika and immediately take the frying pan off the heat.
  7. Add this mixture to the soup while constantly stirring. Allow the soup to simmer.
  8. In a separate bowl mix sour cream with a couple of spoonfuls of hot soup to avoid lumps. Add all the sour cream to the soup and remove it from the heat.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish.
Zagorje Potato Soup

Thank you Croatian Language School, it was a pleasure for Zvonimir and me to make this soup for you 😀

Read all about it on Croatian Language School’s web site: Zagorje Potato Soup. Make sure to check many interesting articles about Croatia and its culture while you are visiting.

Fun Fact

Have a hangover? This soup might help!
People report it helped them and being a really hearty meal, it might be true. This makes it a great brunch idea after partying all night 😉

Let us know in the comments if it worked for you 😜

Croatian Apricot and Plum Dumplings

I can’t imagine a better dessert that includes potatoes. Some Croatians would disagree with me about these dumplings being a dessert. It’s still a subject of debate as many Croatians eat them as main course and not as a dessert. In other words, they just eat dessert for main course. I still prefer to have couple of soft, warm, sweet dumplings after a meal 😉

Variety of similar dumplings can be found in Eastern and Central Europe, with savory or sweet fillings. In Croatia, we usually make them with plums or apricots in the summer during the apricot and plum season. They are topped with breadcrumb and butter mixture, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. You can also serve them with sour cream as well.


for 16 small dumplings

  • 800 g (1.75 lb) potatoes, cooked in shell
  • 200 g (1 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 16 apricots or plums (pitted)
  • 100 g (1 cup) breadcrumbs
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) butter for the topping
  • sugar to taste
  • cinnamon to taste (or not at all, read Z’s note at the end)

I made them LIVE on AZ Entertainment’s show Savour The Flavour back in 2015.


  1. Wash the potatoes well and cook them in the shell.
  2. Cool the cooked potatoes for 5 minutes before peeling, but don’t get them too cold as it will be harder to peel the skin off.
  3. Peeled potatoes immediately mash, add egg and butter, stir well, season with salt and add the flour.
  4. Knead the dough until compact.
  5. Pour dough on a lightly floured surface, roll out and cut into equal squares.
  6. At each square place the halves of pitted fruit, put some sugar and cinnamon (optional) on and form dumplings with hands.
  7. Place the dumplings into a pot of salted boiling water, stir gently and allow them to cook. After about 10 min dumplings will pop up to the surface and then cook them for another 5-6 minutes.
  8. During this time, in a small non stick pan, melt the butter and fry the breadcrumbs. Add more butter/breadcrumbs until you reach desired consistency.
  9. In a small dish, mix sugar with cinnamon for sprinkling.
  10. Drain the cooked dumplings and place them in a serving dish.
  11. Topped them with fried breadcrumbs and toss gently so that they don’t fall apart.

Serve hot dumplings sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and dig in!

Z’s note:
I personally find that cinnamon takes away from the apricot flavor and never use it. People often also like to put sour cream on top, when serving. What I like to do is serve dumplings, with sugar, cinnamon and sour cream separately. People then season them as they please and two people rarely do it the same way 🙂

What is your favorite dumpling filling?