Mushroom and dill soup is a mainstay in Czech cuisine and reminds me of childhood. Being half Czech means I was brought up with Czech cooking but I’ve often missed out on the main affair at family meals. Traditional Czech dishes are mainly meat based, so I’ve survived off mountains of Smazeny Sir (fried cheese) when visiting there.
My mum’s birthday is fast approaching and I’ve promised to cook dinner for everyone. I’m hoping to surprise the family with Czech dishes that we can all enjoy together. I’ve been playing around with recipes and the first one I would like to share with you is this classic Czech Mushroom & Dill soup called ’Kuljada’. Most family meals in Czech Republic start with a soup and many are already vegetarian (which makes the job of recreating them much easier).
The Kuljada is traditionally made with sour cream but I’ve used cauliflower and vegan butter to give the soup its creamy texture. A bit of creative licence used with this one. To give it a more authentic taste you could try adding vegan sour cream. This version came out so delicious that I had to share it!
- 7 medium new potatoes
- 1/3 medium cauliflower
- 1 handful dried shiitake mushrooms
- 200g chestnut mushrooms
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 stock cube
- 800 ml water
- 4 dill sprigs
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Rehydrate the dried mushrooms following your packet’s instructions. Retain the water used for your stock.
- Pour 800 ml of water (including mushroom stock) into a large pot and bring to the boil.
- Add the rehydrated mushrooms, potatoes, stock cube and bay leaves to the pot.
- Heat a frying pan with vegetable oil, add the onion, garlic,cumin, salt & pepper.
- Once the onions have cooked a little add the chestnut mushrooms and cook until browned.
- Stir in the mushrooms, cauliflower and stock cube.
- In the same frying pan mix the vegan butter, flour and a small quantity of water until you have a thick creamy sauce
- Add the cream to the pot and boil until the potatoes are soft and the broth is flavoursome.
- Finely chop the dill and add 1/2 to the pot.
- Remove the bay leaves and blend (hand held blender is easiest) but not too much.
- Add the remaining dill and serve with bread.