Tag: Traditional Soups of Europe

Legendary Dishes | Kartoffelsuppe mit Hackbällchen (potato soup with meatballs)

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 600 g potatoes, peeled, cut into 4 cm cubes
  • 500 g beef mince with high fat content
  • 150 g onion, sliced
  • 16 croutons 2 cm cubed
  • 5 g + 5 g salt
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs, for garnish
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp oil, for frying

Place the potatoes in a pot with the water, add salt and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer.

Combine the mince with the seasonings, shape into 50 gram balls. Heat frying pan, add oil and fry the balls in batches over a high heat. Remove to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan, fry onions until they start to take on colour at the edges.

Add the meatballs, onions and seasonings to the potato pot.

Deglaze the frying pan with a tablespoon of liquid from the potato pot, add the deglazed liquid to the pot.

Cook for 30 minutes, until the potatoes have melted into the soup.

Serve with a garnish of croutons and herbs.

Legendary Dishes | Linzensoep Traditioneel (traditional lentil soup)

Dutch lentil soup garnished with lovage leaves

Throughout the 1800s Dutch lentil soup was made with onions or leeks and cabbage or celery and various amounts of brown or red lentils, cooled, pushed through a sieve, re-heated and seasoned with herbs and spices which included celery seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds. The onions or leeks would have been fried in lard.

Gradually the recipe evolved to include cayenne, chilli or paprika and garlic for a piquant taste and, to the amazement of the purists, pieces of meat and sausages.

This is the traditional version, spiced with a strong onion flavour.

  • 1 litre water (more if necessary)
  • 1 kg onions, sliced thin
  • 500 g leeks, sliced thin
  • 250 g red lentils, washed, soaked overnight
  • 250 g white cabbage, blanched in 1 litre of hot water, shredded (retain water)
  • 45 ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne / chilli powder
  • 1 tsp g cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig lovage

Cook the lentils in one litre of water until they are soft, add the cabbage.

Fry the leeks in 2 tablespoons of oil over a high heat for 5 minutes, cover, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add one tablespoon of oil to the leek mixture, increase heat, add onions and spices, fry for 5 minutes with constant stirring. Stir in the garlic, cover, reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes.

Pour the cabbage-lentil mixture into the onion-leek mixture. Stir in the cabbage water and the lovage. Ladle in batches into a blender, blend into a purée, adding more water for a thinner soup.


Legendary Dishes | Aş Çorbasi (einkorn soup)


For a taste of the neolithic this soup made with origin wheat is emblematic, just make sure your chicken stock has a high percentage of fat to bind the flour and produce a creamy texture. Seasonings 10,000 years ago would have been different and when we get an inkling of what they were we will tell you, but you can be sure they would have included indigenous herbs.

  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 150 g einkorn whole flour
  • 150 g onion, chopped small
  • 45 g red pepper flakes
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 tbsp dried mint / thyme
  • 5 g salt

Fry onions in the butter in a soup pot, add two tablespoons of red pepper flakes, then the stock, bring to the boil. Add the flour, stirring with a whisk. Cook over a gentle heat for an hour.

Serve sprinkled with the herbs and remaining red pepper flakes.

Legendary Dishes | Vrzotovka {Ohrovtova Mineštra} (kale and potato soup)


Traditionally served as a soup, this kale and potato combination is also served as a thick stew where potatoes and carrots are mashed and thickened by a flour-water paste.

  • 2 litres water + water for cooking potatoes
  • 500 g kale leaves, cut into 1 cm wide strips, stalks cut into small pieces
  • 500 g potatoes, cooked, mashed
  • 100 g beans, cooked and coated in 1 tablespoon of lard or pork fat (optional)
  • 1 carrot, diced (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed, mashed
  • 2 tbsp flour mixed in 4 tbsp water (optional)
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp salt

Cook the potatoes and, if using, the carrots in salted water, drain, crush with a wooden spoon.

Blanch the kale strips in hot water, cook for a couple of minutes to soften them. Drain the kale water into the potato pot, add the kale stalks and garlic, cook for 15 minutes. Add the kale strips, seasonings and, if using, the beans. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

For a thick soup stir in the flour-water paste.

Legendary Dishes | Zuppa di Lenticchie con castagne (lentil soup with chestnuts)


Lentil soup is a stable throughout Italy and among the most popular are the soups with beans, bread, chestnuts, lard, olive oil, pancetta, speck and tomatoes.

Sometimes the chestnuts are fried in lard or oil to give them a roasted flavour. We favour the vegan version.

The amount of water is determined by the type of lentil.

  • 2.5 litres water
  • 400 g brown / green / red lentils (if using brown lentils soak in water for an hour)
  • 250 g chestnuts, quartered, pre-boiled (optional)
  • 150 g onion, chopped small
  • 150 g tomato passata
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig marjoram, stripped

Cook the lentils with chestnuts, oil, onion, seasonings and sufficient water for around an hour. With 30 minutes to go add the passata.

Lentil Soup with Chestnuts

Legendary Dishes | Solyanka {Солянка} (winter soup pot)


This winter soup pot is associated with every type of indigenous food across the vast expanse of Russia, from beef and pork meat on the bone, cooked, cured and smoked meats and sausages, root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, leaf vegetables like cabbage and kale, plus beans, capers, garlic, lemons, mushrooms, olives, onions, peppers, pickles, sour cream and tomatoes, and seasonings including herbs and spices. Solyanka was one of the traditional food subjects on the food forum Povarenok, specifically this thread. This version is adapted from that conversation.

  • 1.5 litres + 1 litre water
  • 750 g pork chops
  • 600 g onions, sliced
  • 500 g potatoes, chopped into large pieces
  • 250 g cabbage, sliced thin
  • 250 g carrots, grated
  • 2 smoked pork sausages, cut into thick slices
  • 2 pickled gherkins, diced small
  • 100 g black olives
  • 100 g smoked pork loin, diced small
  • 4 tbsp sour cream (optional)
  • 50 g capers
  • 4 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 30 g dried forest mushrooms, soaked in water overnight
  • 30 ml sour juice from gerkhins
  • 30 ml rapeseed oil / olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste / red pepper paste
  • 15 g boullion / mixed seasonings
  • 2 tsp savory
  • 5 g allspice
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dill
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Lemon slices, for garnish

Place the pork chops in the bottom of a large heavy-base pot, dry fry for a couple of minutes until the chops begin to realise their fat. Turn the chops over and fry until the fat is released. Pour one and half litres of water into the bottom, bring slowly to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave to cool. Remove the meat, shred.

Add one litre of water to the pork cooking liquid. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, sausages, mixed seasonings, black pepper and salt, cover and cook for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes add the herbs, capers, cabbage, gherkins, tomato or red pepper paste and three of the mashed garlic cloves.

While the potatoes are cooking pour the oil into a large frying pan, fry the onions over a medium to low heat for 30 minutes. Add allspice, paprika and remaining garlic clove. Fry for 5 minutes. Add carrots, fry covered over a gentle heat for 15 minutes. Add the juice, reduce for five minutes.

Transfer the mixture from the frying pan into the pot followed by the pork chop meat and pork loin cubes. Heat through.

Serve with the olives, sour cream and lemon slices.

Legendary Dishes | Sodd (braised lamb and meatballs in broth)


Traditionally made with lamb or mutton, sodd is sometimes made with beef. More of a soup than a stew, sodd is characterised by the gentle flavour of the stock used for the broth and the separately coooked vegetables. One of Norway’s most popular traditional dishes.

Lamb / Mutton

  • 5 litres water
  • 1.5 kg lamb or mutton leg / neck / shoulder, 250 g lean and a little fat removed, fine minced
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • 1 tsp salt

Cut 250 g lean meat and a little fat from the chosen piece of meat, add salt, mince. Tradition calls for a dozen runs through the mincer, and one more for luck!

Braise the meat in salted water, remove the foamy scum that forms on the surface, reduce heat to slow, simmer for three hours, until meat is tender, strain liquid and keep warm.

The meat should fall off the bone, cut into large cubes.


  • 1.5 kg water
  • 1 kg potatoes, cut large
  • 500 g carrots, chopped small
  • 10 g salt

Cook the potatoes in the same volume of water until almost ready
Cook the carrots in just enough water to cover them until they are al dente.

Broth Balls

  • 500 ml lamb stock
  • 250 g lamb mince
  • 75 ml cream
  • 2 tsp cornflour / potato flour
  • 2 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, large pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Stir cornflour or potato flour, spices and cream into the minced lamb, shape with wet hands into walnut-sized balls, around 25 grams each.

Poach in lamb stock for 10 minutes. When they rise to the surface they are ready.


  • Broth balls
  • Lamb meat
  • Lamb stock
  • Cooked carrots
  • Cooked potatoes
  • Crispbread

Pour the stock into bowls, add the carrots, broth balls and braised lamb.
Serve with crispbread and potatoes on the side.


Legendary Dishes | Bouneschlupp (bean and sausage soup)


The origins and contents of this enigmatic soup are disputed between Luxembourg and its neighbours in Gaume, Lorraine and Saarland who all claim it as one of their traditional dishes. What is not disputed is the method. Whether the ingredients include leeks or onions, mettwürst or smoked bacon, more or less green beans and cream or no cream, this is a slow soup. The use of mettwürst is not sacroscant, other regional sausages are also favoured. Like many of the traditional dishes of Luxembourg, this is a bean and sausage soup, simply made.

Mettwürst Version

  • 2 litres water
  • 500 g green beans, cut into small pieces
  • 500 g leeks / onions, sliced thin
  • 500 g potatoes, cubed small
  • 4 mettwürst / sausage
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

In a large pot sweat the leeks or onions in the oil covered over a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the beans and potatoes and sausages whole, coat in the mixture, then add the water and seasonings. Cook over a low heat covered for 30 minutes, remove the sausages, leave to cool a little, then cut into thick slices. Remove some of the soup, blend and pour back into the pot with the sausage slices. Cook for an hour.

Smoked Bacon Version

  • 3 litres water
  • 800 g beans, cut into small pieces
  • 300 g potatoes, cubed small
  • 200 g onions, chopped
  • 200 g smoked bacon, cut into cubes
  • 150 ml cream
  • 120 g savory (optional)
  • 50 g butter
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

In a large pot brown the bacon in the butter over a low heat, add the onions and sweat covered for 15 minutes. Add the savory and seasonings, sweat for 5 minutes, add the beans and water, cooked for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes, cook for 15 minutes, add the cream and check the seasonings.