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
Chop the onion finely.
Cut pancetta to strips.
Peal the potatoes and cut them into small cubes.
Cut the red pepper into pea-sized cubes.
Blanche the tomato in hot water for couple of minutes and peel of the skin. Chop it finely.
On a medium to high temperature in a large saucepan on oil fry the onion and pancetta until soft and translucent.
Add potatoes and fry them for a couple of minutes.
Add the red pepper and fry for another couple of minutes.
Season all the ingredients with salt and pepper and after they are combined add stock or soup. Do a taste test as you season.
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.
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.
Add this mixture to the soup while constantly stirring. Allow the soup to simmer.
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.
This is what I call immunity soup! Blend of garlic, ginger and turmeric makes this soup an immunity booster 😃
Sweetness of carrots and spiciness of ginger make this soup one of a kind. Plus you can always adapt the flavors to your taste by adding/reducing amounts of carrots and ginger.
Did you know that ginger is loaded with antioxidants, compounds that prevent stress? It also helps your body fight off chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diseases of the lungs, plus promote healthy aging. So, enjoy this soup more often!
1 medium onion
3 large carrots
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (about 2 cm of fresh ginger)
700 ml vegetable stock or water
1 tsp turmeric
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cream or milk (optional)
Peel and cut the onion into quarters.
Grate or thinly slice garlic and ginger.
Peel and cut the carrots to 0.5 cm (0.25 in) round pieces.
Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large pot.
Add onions and simmer until softened.
Add carrots, garlic and ginger and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Season with salt, pepper and turmeric. Stir well.
Add vegetable stock or water and cook until carrots are softened.
When the carrots are done, check the flavor and season more if necessary.
Take the pot off the heat, blend with hand mixer or in a blender.
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.
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley leaves for garnish
Wash the meat briefly in cold water and place it in a pot of cold water. That way the soup will have stronger flavor.
Fry the whole onion on all it’s sides in a dry pan.
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.
When the soup comes to boil again, set heat to low and let it cook for 2 more hours.
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.
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
Mix oil and egg yolk until foamy.
Add semolina, salt and parsley.
Mix egg white until stiff.
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?