As I watch the snow and sleet through my window, all I want to do is curl up next to the fireplace with a nice steaming bowl of soup. While researching this week’s challenge, I came across a garlic soup called česnečka – which is apparently also a popular hangover cure in eastern Europe. It’s certainly packed full of flavor; with a whole head of garlic and an entire onion to boot.
Even though I wasn’t even hungover while I made this soup, the aromatics from simply chopping the garlic and onions together was enough to clear my sinuses.
I started by browning the potatoes in some butter before adding the chopped onions. Let the onions cook down a little bit before adding the garlic – and I’m talking a TON of garlic.
Seriously – mince a whole head of garlic or use about four or five heaping tablespoons of the pre-minced variety. I’m a bit obsessed with garlic myself, so add as much garlic you can personally withstand.
I also added a handful of marjoram to the soup, to add another level of flavor to the soup (though – oops – I forgot to get it in the ingredient picture!).
Once the potatoes are fork tender and the garlic has started to brown and turn fragrant, pour in the beef broth and add the bay leaves. I set my stove to a simmer, covered the pot, and let the soup simmer for a while.
Just prior to serving, if you are looking for a smoother soup instead of a super chunky one, use a ladle to spoon all but about a cup of the soup into a food processor or blender – you may need to do this step in batches if you are making a large portion of soup. Then just pour the blended soup back into the remaining soup in the pan and heat until bubbling.
I served my česnečka with a generous grating of gruyere cheese and a handful of croutons. This soup does more than cure hangovers, it’ll easily warm your soul from the inside out!
Czech Garlic Soup
- Wash and chop the potatoes into inch sized pieces. In a large soup pan, add two tablespoons of butter along with the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are beginning to brown, about ten minutes.
- Dice the onions and add them into the pot with the potatoes. Stir the onions into the potatoes. Cook until the onions are translucent, about five minutes. When the potatoes are fork tender, add the minced garlic, and stir well to combine.
- Sprinkle the potatoes, onions and garlic with marjoram. Season with salt and stir so all the ingredients are covered. Add the bay leaves to the pot. Pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil.
- When the soup had reached a rolling bubble, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for an additional twenty to forty minutes, or until the potatoes reach your desired doneness.
- OPTIONAL: In batches, blend all but one cup of the soup in a food processor or blender, for a smooth garlic soup.
- Add a handful of cheese and croutons to the soup when ready to serve. Serve hot and enjoy!