Flavours inspired by Croatia
Zagorje Potato Soup
by Pervin Todiwala
Originating in the northern Croatian region of Zagorje, it was considered a peasant’s dish, basic and hearty. Today it has gained popularity as a gourmet soup given its blend of old and new ingredients. I have put my own touch to it and tweaked it for global taste buds. As they say in Croatian, “Dobar tek”!
Onion – 1 medium
Bacon or pancetta (or speck ham if you have it) - 100gms (omit for vegetarians)
200 gms mushrooms (for a different flavour, use a variety of seasonal mushrooms)
Potatoes – 2 medium
Carrot – 1 medium
Celery -1 stick
Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
Bay leaf -1
White wine – 100ml- optional
Sugar – 1 tsp
Tomato concentrate – 1 Tblsp
Sour cream – 100 ml
Flour – 1 Tblsp
Paprika – 2 tsp
Chicken Stock (Can use Vegetable Stock)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup cooked orzo or barley.
Save some diced potatoes, fry them till lightly crisp for a topping
Serve the soup in a bread bowl with an array of toppings: spring onions, toasted walnuts, masala croutons (warm olive oil or butter, add a pinch of chilli or paprika powder and brush this on croutons before toasting), crispy fried green onion/carrot/zucchini noodles
Creating your masterpiece
Dice the onions, carrot, celery, mushrooms, potatoes, and bacon into equal sized pieces.
Sweat the bacon with a little olive oil and then add cumin seeds & chopped onions.
Stir till the onions soften and then add the diced carrot, celery, potato & mushrooms and fry all together.
Add the bay leaf, paprika and keep frying.
Add the sugar stir and then add the wine . Reduce the wine until the smell of alcohol disappears.
Add the tomato concentrate and stir till well mixed.
Pour chicken stock or water into the pot, just covering all the ingredients.
Close the pan for about 15 minutes approximately till the potatoes & carrots are cooked.
Stir in salt, pepper and then let it cook for another 5 minutes.
Mix sour cream and flour in a bit of cold water to make a slurry and gently stir it into to the soup. Cook for another 6 – 7 minutes
Eat it with chunks of bread or seasoned pasta. Makes for a hearty meal