Creamy and Tangy Czech Mushroom & Dill Soup (Kulajda)


Date Published: Dec 25th, 2022 | Last Updated: Dec 25th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: soups, appetizers, <30mins, easy, mains, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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What is Kulajda?

Kulajda (pronounced “koo-lie-duh”) is a creamy and tangy mushroom, dill and potato soup that is traditional to Southern Czech. We first came upon it on our trip to Prague this past summer. Apart from all the nostalgic Czech dishes that Toby wanted to have (including steak tartare), we also googled some famous must-have Czech dishes that led us to the historical Michelin-guided restaurant, Café Imperial. There were SO many delicious things at this restaurant but my all-time favourite was the kulajda. In fact, I liked it so much that I was on the lookout for it at every subsequent restaurant we went to on our trip around Czech! The flavour combination of savoury and tangy and highlighting the ingredients of mushrooms and dill were out of this world. It was a combination that was new to me and I loved it!

After googling recipes and experimenting with a few, I’ve come up with this version that is a mix of a couple of different recipes that resulted in a soup just like the one at Café Imperial. 😊 The soup was surprisingly easy and straightforward to make. If it wasn’t so heavy, I’d probably make this all the time 😜.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 40g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 2 cups (480ml) water
  • 40g (1/3 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsps (40g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (720ml) beef or chicken broth
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3/4 cups (180ml) heavy cream
  • 2-3 Tbsps white wine vinegar (start with 2 Tbsps and add more if you prefer it more tart)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar (or more to taste)
  • 3 Tbsps fresh dill leaves, chopped (no stems) + additional for garnish
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

In a small saucepan, add the dried porcini mushrooms, bay leaves, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to simmer for 15 mins. After 15 mins, turn off the heat and set aside.

While the mushrooms are simmering, make a basic roux: In a medium sized soup pot on MED heat, melt the butter, then gradually sprinkle in the flour bit by bit while stirring until it’s all incorporated and you end up with a thick paste. Don’t add in the flour all at once or you’ll get a big clump of dough.

Once you get a thick paste, slowly pour in the beef broth while continuously stirring to ensure no clumps form.

Strain the mushrooms from the saucepan in step 1 and pour the mushroom-soaked water into the beef broth pot. Bring to a boil and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Set the mushrooms aside and discard the bay leaves and allspice berries.

After 10 mins, add the potatoes and soaked mushrooms to the soup and continue simmering for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes soften.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cream, white wine vinegar, sugar, and dill. Taste and adjust salt, sugar, or vinegar to your liking. Let the soup rest for a few minutes before serving.

While the soup is resting, poach 4 eggs.

When serving, add a poached egg to each bowl and pour the soup overtop. Sprinkle extra dill leaves on top to finish. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Creamy and Tangy Czech Mushroom & Dill Soup (Kulajda)

Date Published: Dec 25th, 2022 | Last Updated: Dec 25th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: soups, appetizers, <30mins, easy, mains, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 40g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 2 cups (480ml) water
  • 40g (1/3 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsps (40g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (720ml) beef or chicken broth
  • 450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3/4 cups (180ml) heavy cream
  • 2-3 Tbsps white wine vinegar (start with 2 Tbsps and add more if you prefer it more tart)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar (or more to taste)
  • 3 Tbsps fresh dill leaves, chopped (no stems) + additional for garnish
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, add the dried porcini mushrooms, bay leaves, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to simmer for 15 mins. After 15 mins, turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. While the mushrooms are simmering, make a basic roux: In a medium sized soup pot on MED heat, melt the butter, then gradually sprinkle in the flour bit by bit while stirring until it’s all incorporated and you end up with a thick paste. Don’t add in the flour all at once or you’ll get a big clump of dough.
  3. Once you get a thick paste, slowly pour in the beef broth while continuously stirring to ensure no clumps form.
  4. Strain the mushrooms from the saucepan in step 1 and pour the mushroom-soaked water into the beef broth pot. Bring to a boil and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Set the mushrooms aside and discard the bay leaves and allspice berries.
  5. After 10 mins, add the potatoes and soaked mushrooms to the soup and continue simmering for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes soften.
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream, white wine vinegar, sugar, and dill. Taste and adjust salt, sugar, or vinegar to your liking. Let the soup rest for a few minutes before serving.
  7. While the soup is resting, poach 4 eggs.
  8. When serving, add a poached egg to each bowl and pour the soup overtop. Sprinkle extra dill leaves on top to finish. Enjoy!

Bobotie with Turmeric Rice


Date Published: Dec 25th, 2022 | Last Updated: Dec 25th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 8 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone! Toby and I have been so busy getting married, starting a new locum job, and organizing our move to NYC lately that the website has been on the back burner for a few months. However, I have also been trying out a few new recipes and even picked up some inspiration from our recent travels. I’ve written a few draft recipes here and there that I’m working on polishing up to share soon!

What is Bobotie?

Bobotie is a South African dish introduced to me by a friend in vet school years ago. It’s a curried ground beef dish with a thin eggy topping often served over turmeric rice and a fruit chutney. It’s sweet, savoury, hearty, and oh so delicious! This dish has been on my list to publish for ages and I’m happy to finally be able to share it with you!

If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Bobotie:
    • 1 cup milk
    • 4 slices plain white bread
    • 2 Tbsps unsalted butter or neutral oil
    • 2 medium onions, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 Tbsp curry powder
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1kg ground beef
    • 1/2 cup of raisins
    • 1.5 Tbsps of fruit chutney + extra to serve
    • Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 pinch salt
  • Turmeric rice:
    • 2.5 cups water
    • 1 cup long grain white rice (basmati is a good choice)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

*Ideally make this in a cast-iron or ceramic/dutch oven pot so you can ease the clean up by transferring directly from stove-top to oven, but if you don’t have one, just use a regular pan to cook it then transfer to a baking dish when baking.

Preheat oven to 175˚C (350F). If you’re not using an oven-safe pot or pan, lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish or meatloaf pan.

In a bowl, pour milk over the bread and let it soak.

In a pot or pan over MED-HIGH heat, melt the butter and sauté the onions until soft.

Add in the garlic, curry powder, and turmeric. Continue to sauté for another minute.

Next, crumble the ground beef into the pan and add in the raisins, chutney, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Sauté everything until the beef starts to brown. Turn off the heat.

Remove the soaked bread in step 2 and squeeze out any excess milk back into the bowl. Set the milk aside. Tear the soggy bread up into chunks and add it to the pan along with bay leaves and mix.

If your pot/pan is oven-safe, put the lid on and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, covered. If your pot/pan is not oven-safe, then transfer it all to the greased baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

*While you wait for the bobotie to bake, make the turmeric rice (see step 12).

After 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and remove any excess pools of oil. Mix it around then cover again and bake for another 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, take it out of the oven and remove any excess pools of oil. Mix it around then pat down the surface of the beef. You want a nice flat tight bed of meat so your egg topping doesn’t sink down.

Make the egg topping: whisk the reserved milk (from step 2) with eggs and a pinch of salt. Pour this mixture over the flattened bed of beef then put it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes (until egg is done and top is golden brown). Done!

Turmeric rice:

Mix all the ingredients (water, rice, salt, turmeric, cinnamon, raisins, butter) in a small pot/sauce pan and cover with a lid. Switch it on high heat and bring to a boil. (Mix the rice occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan)

After it reaches a boil, turn the heat on low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water is gone or rice is fluffy. Done!

To serve: spoon the bobotie over the turmeric rice with a dollop of chutney (fruit or hot) on the side. Can also sprinkle desiccated coconut over it, some chopped almonds and sliced bananas. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Bobotie with Turmeric Rice

Date Published: Dec 25th, 2022 | Last Updated: Dec 25th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 8 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • Bobotie:
    • 1 cup milk
    • 4 slices plain white bread
    • 2 Tbsps unsalted butter or neutral oil
    • 2 medium onions, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 Tbsp curry powder
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1kg ground beef
    • 1/2 cup of raisins
    • 1.5 Tbsps of fruit chutney + extra to serve
    • Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 pinch salt
  • Turmeric rice:
    • 2.5 cups water
    • 1 cup long grain white rice (basmati is a good choice)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

*Ideally make this in a cast-iron or ceramic/dutch oven pot so you can ease the clean up by transferring directly from stove-top to oven, but if you don’t have one, just use a regular pan to cook it then transfer to a baking dish when baking.

  1. Preheat oven to 175˚C (350F). If you’re not using an oven-safe pot or pan, lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish or meatloaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, pour milk over the bread and let it soak.
  3. In a pot or pan over MED-HIGH heat, melt the butter and sauté the onions until soft.
  4. Add in the garlic, curry powder, and turmeric. Continue to sauté for another minute.
  5. Next, crumble the ground beef into the pan and add in the raisins, chutney, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Sauté everything until the beef starts to brown. Turn off the heat.
  6. Remove the soaked bread in step 2 and squeeze out any excess milk back into the bowl. Set the milk aside. Tear the soggy bread up into chunks and add it to the pan along with bay leaves and mix.
  7. If your pot/pan is oven-safe, put the lid on and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, covered.
    • If your pot/pan is not oven-safe, then transfer it all to the greased baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. *While you wait for the bobotie to bake, make the turmeric rice (see step 12).
  9. After 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and remove any excess pools of oil. Mix it around then cover again and bake for another 15 minutes.
  10. After 15 minutes, take it out of the oven and remove any excess pools of oil. Mix it around then pat down the surface of the beef. You want a nice flat tight bed of meat so your egg topping doesn’t sink down.
  11. Make the egg topping: whisk the reserved milk (from step 2) with eggs and a pinch of salt. Pour this mixture over the flattened bed of beef then put it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes (until egg is done and top is golden brown). Done!
  12. Turmeric rice:
    1. Mix all the ingredients (water, rice, salt, turmeric, cinnamon, raisins, butter) in a small pot/sauce pan and cover with a lid. Switch it on high heat and bring to a boil. (Mix the rice occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan)
    2. After it reaches a boil, turn the heat on low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water is gone or rice is fluffy. Done!
  13. To serve: spoon the bobotie over the turmeric rice with a dollop of chutney (fruit or hot) on the side. Can also sprinkle desiccated coconut over it, some chopped almonds and sliced bananas. Enjoy!