Warm up with soups
By EMMA PALOVA
EW Emma’s Writings
I am a lover of soups at any time of the year.
I usually start out with a classical lentil soup that has a million variations depending on the country that’s making it. My Czech American version uses lentils that I sauté with leeks, celery and carrots on olive oil. Then, I add beef stock, lemon or vinegar, garlic, pepper, salt and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Once the mixture cools down, I purée half of it and add it back into the pot. Garnish with parsley or other greens.
The more adventurous chefs can use red lentils and oriental spices to create Indian dahl. The French use dark blue lentils.
In deep winters like this one, I like to make cabbage milk soup with sausage and potatoes. This one originates in the poor mountainous regions of Slovakia and Moravia back in Czech Republic. It too varies from village to village, sometimes from household to household. In southern region of Sumava, folks add mushrooms to the soup.
I boil sauerkraut with potatoes and carrots. Once this cools off, I add either milk, sour cream or yogurt and bring it back to boil while stirring. Optional sliced hard-boiled eggs can be added. Traditionally, sausage, smoked meat or ham are used for a deliciously smooth soup.
My third favorite is minestrone. Although it’s not a Czech soup, we picked it up on our travels through Italy. Mom and I modified classical vegetable soup by adding tomato sauce and beans to the boil. And lastly we add already cooked pasta into the veggie soup. We use either fresh or frozen vegetables any and all available.
Watch for my next three winter soups coming soon to your tables.
Midwest bouillabaisse, goulash and potato chowder from the Appalachian Mountains.
Czech specials .com
Copyright ©2014 story and photos by Emma Palova