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This will be a very short post. I discovered this link today and wanted to share it with you.

Isn’t that great?! Wherever you are: Enjoy your meal!

Verði þér að góðu
Eet Smakelijk!
Labu apetīti!
Poftă bună!
Приятного аппетита!
Ăn ngon nhé

 

 

For all 87 languages check out this link.

Today I would like to share a simple but delicious potato soup with you. I am adding salmon because I believe it makes it even more delicious but if you are not into pink fishy things J, you could also add smoked bacon or eat the soup as it is.

potato soup with smoked salmon

potato soup with smoked salmon 2

Level: Easy | Time: 30 minutes | serves 2

Ingredients

1 knob of butter

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 leek, washed and cut into rings

1 carrot peeled and cut into small pieces

650 millilitres of vegetable stock

A little cream if you like

50 grams of smoked salmon

Chives (1 handful)

Salt and Pepper

1 bay leave

Preparation

  1. Heat a little butter in a medium-sized pot on a medium heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes before adding the stock, the bay leave and salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Blend the soup until smooth and add the cream (if you want to use it).
  5. If the soup it to thick, add a little more stock.
  6. Ladle the soup into preheated bowls. Place the smoked salmon in the middle and decorate with sprinkled chives.

While I was on vacation in Germany I had the time to talk to my grandmother about recipes, soups recipes, of course. She told me about an old traditional recipe she used to cook a lot and sometimes still does. It is a recipe from a time where simple and cheap cooking was very popular and has surprisingly few ingredients.

So, I decided to try it out. And what can I tell you, the simple things are often the best!

grandmas potato and buttermilk soup

grandmas potato and buttermilk soup - bread

grandmas potato and buttermilk soup - bacon

Level: Easy | Time: 45 minutes | serves 2-4

 

Ingredients

1 knob of butter or a little vegetable oil

150 grams of smoked bacon, cut in small pieces

500 grams of potatoes, peeled and cut in pieces

1 litre of buttermilk

1 litre of whole milk

Salt and Pepper

 

Preparation

  1. Cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes in salted water until they are soft. Using a potato masher or a hand mixer, mash the potatoes to a fine, smooth paste.
  2. In a separate pot, cook the buttermilk and the whole milk together. Make sure that the heat is not too high and the milk does not burn.
  3. Take the milk off the heat and slowly stir the potato mash into the milk.
  4. Fry the bacon until crispy and add to the soup.
  5. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Sprinkle with chives and serve warm.

pea soup with ham and mint

I hope you had a great Christmas and a very nice New Years party. I spend 2 fantastic weeks travelling around, visiting family and friends. I first went to Prague and enjoyed this fascinating old city for 3 days. I have been in Prague a couple of times through the years and I have to say that it has changed a lot since I last visited it. It has become a real tourist magnet and is a lot livelier than before. During my stay, there was photography exhibition portraying the past 60 years of Prague’s history. It was really amazing.

We also enjoyed lots of hearty food and could not get enough of the Czech beer. I will try to reproduce a few of the nicest recipes in the next couple of weeks.

But for an easy start and because I really need some light food, the first soup recipe this year is a super easy, super yummy pea soup.

Level: Easy | Time: 30 minutes | serves 4-6

pea soup with ham and mint 2

pea soup with ham and mint 3

Ingredients

1 knob of butter

1 large onion, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 leek, washed and cut into small rings

450 grams of frozen peas

200 grams of cured ham, cut into pieces

600 ml of vegetable or chicken stock

1 handful of chopped mint leaves

2 TS of crème fraîche or cream cheese

Salt and Pepper

Preparation

  1. Heat a knob of butter in a medium-sized pot and add the onions and leek. Cook for 5-10 minutes on a medium heat until soft and translucent but not browned.
  2. Add the stock and the frozen peas and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the soup off the heat and blend until creamy and return to the pot.
  4. Now stir in the crème fraîche and the chopped mint and taste. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup in a warm bowl, add some chopped cured ham on top and sprinkle with chopped mint leaves.

Butterbean and beef soup

Butterbean and beef soup

This weekend I did not really know what soup to cook. After a little online research I found a picture of a butterbean and lamb soup and was all sold. The picture looked delicious. As I had a nice piece of organic beef in the freezer, I made a few changes to the recipe and created this fantastic soup.

And I learned something about soaking beans: They need a lot of water. A lot more than I was expecting. I left a medium-sized bowl of bean covered by water over night and the beans were still quiet hard the next day. I had to cook them (with the soup) for about 45 minutes. They were lovely in the end.

Level: Easy | Time: 60 minutes | serves 4

Ingredients

Olive Oil

250 grams of beef steak

1 big tin of butter beans or dried beans soaked in water over night

2 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 small onion, peeled and cut in rings

1 celery stalk, sliced

4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

750 to 1 litre of vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

Fresh Thyme

Preparation

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pot and add the meat and the onion when the oil is hot.
  2. Brown the meat all around and add the fresh Thyme.
  3. When the meat is browned add the rest of the vegetables and the stock and keep cooking on a low heat for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Check if the soup needs salt or pepper and if all the ingredients are soft and well mixed together. If not keep cooking for 10-15 minutes longer.
  5. Serve in a warm bowl with some bread.

chestnut soup

This soup takes a little more effort than my usual recipes but I promise it is well worth it. Chestnuts are a rare treat and for me they belong to Christmas like Santa Claus. I never prepared them though. I usually enjoy them roasted at Christmas markets. This year I decided that the time has come to give chestnut soup a try.

You will see that the recipe is very simple: a carrot, some leek, onion and celery and you almost have the soup ready.

But here is the tricky part: The chestnuts!

It took me about 1 hour to peel 500 grams of chestnuts and it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. First of all, I did not know how they were supposed to look “naked”.  After peeling a few today, I can tell you that they have 2 skins. The hard brown one you would expect and a softer lighter brown, I did not expect. It is essential to get both of them off.

But the good news is: It doesn’t have to be that hard! I disregarded every advice to cut the chestnuts before boiling them, as I thought the extra effort of cutting a cross into the skin was not worth it. … Well I can tell you know: It really is! The few chestnuts I had prepared like that were a lot easier to peel than the rest. You should cut a cross at the top (the light brown part) before boiling them and peel them straight away when they are still hot. And if that is still too much effort for you (and I could not blame you) you can buy them cooked and peeled as well.

Here is a helpful link on “How to peel chestnuts“.

If you never had chestnut soup before, be warned: it tastes slightly sweet. But after the 3rd spoonful you will love it. I do anyways!

Level: Medium | Time: 60 minutes (depending on the chestnut peeling skills)| serves 4-6


Ingredients

Knob of butter

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 leek (white part only), washed and sliced

1 small onion, sliced

1-2 celery stalk, peeled and sliced

500 grams of chestnuts (cooked, peeled and cut into pieces)

100 ml of sour cream

1 litre of vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

Nutmeg

Parsley for decoration

Preparation

  1. Heat the butter in a big pot on medium heat.
  2. Add the carrot, onion, leek and celery and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked and peeled chestnuts and the stick and cook on a low heat, covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Take the pot off the heat and blend the soup till smooth and silky.
  5. It the soup is too thick add a little bit of stock.
  6. Now, add the sour cream and the nutmeg (1-2 TS) and stir well.
  7. To serve, ladle a bit of soup into a warm bowl, stir in some extra sour cream and sprinkle with parsley.

Gulasch soup

gulasch soup

I love this Gulasch soup recipe as it reminds me of my father. It was generally my mother who was in charge of the pots and pans in our house but when it came to Gulasch my father was the man for the job. He always puts a lot of effort in his cooking: Shopping for the right ingredients, chopping everything to the exact perfect size, cooking slowly and enjoying having the kitchen to himself. Our dinners would usually be late when my dad was cooking, but we were rewarded with fantastic flavours.

Now where I live quiet far away from my parents, I love preparing this soup and cherish a few good old memories.  This soup is absolutely perfect for the wintery season and tastes great with a glass of red or mulled wine.

Happy second advent!

Level: Medium | Time: 60 minutes | serves 2


Ingredients

1 knob of butter or vegetable oil

5 baby onions quartered

1 carrot, peeled and cut in pieces

1 red pepper, washed and cut in pieces

1 small (or half a normal) leek, washed and cut in rings

100 grams of smoky bacon

250 grams of beef (don’t use a too lean cut)

Salt and Pepper

Sweet paprika powder (2 TS)

A few fresh thyme stalks

2 bay leaves

Beef stock 600 ml

Sour cream

Tomato puree

1 glass of red wine

Mushrooms (I used brown mushrooms. If you can get wild mushrooms, that would be even better.)

Preparation

  1. Put the butter in a heavy base pot on a high heat and fry the bacon and meat for a few minutes until brown all around.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and add the red wine. Cook for about 5 minutes allowing the alcohol to evaporate.
  3. Add the spices (paprika powder, salt, pepper, Thyme and Bay leaves) and the tomato puree and give it a good mix.
  4. Now add the rest of the vegetables besides the mushrooms, and the beef stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower the temperature to a low heat and cook covered.
  6. After 30 minutes add the mushrooms, mix well and cook for another 20 minutes.
  7. Serve the soup in warm bowls with a drop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of fresh Thyme.

Bon Appétit!