In my research for today’s challenge, I came across a garlic soup called Cesnecka, which is apparently a popular hangover cure in Czech Republic, I’m a bit of a foodie if I can afford it, and if I see a recipe for something as simple as this I was always excited to try. Garlic soup is always a fun recipe to research, because almost every recipe I see has its own unique way of preparing it.
On the other hand, these things should not be considered too carefully, and I thought that this was a slightly healthier option. Cesnecka could technically become vegan friendly, but it is a bit too much of a recipe manipulation (I mean, just pouring water into a kettle, boiling it then pouring into a bowl, is a bit too much, right?). I still prefer to make it quite relaxed, tasty and worthy of human consumption.
One of the beauties of a Cesnecka recipe is, in my eyes, how easy it is to prepare, and I know that you could spend hours, days, weeks or months finding this information for yourself.
I researched Cesnecka and used exactly the best ingredients in my recipe, which makes it a pretty good try compared to the original. One of the ingredients you may need to keep away is dried marjoram as a substitute for cumin, while dried oregano is a good substitute. Note: my version is a recipe with ingredients that most people do not have in their pantry, even if they are obscured as I am.
You can also add complementary or improved ingredients such as salt and pepper, but just make sure you have the predominant flavour profile that garlic offers. If garlic is not enough or does not taste good, add 3-4 crushed cloves of garlic to the soup pot, also I left the garlic cloves whole (simply not chopped) instead of mushing them, as they could be cut into finer pieces, which would make it easier to burn them. This would also give the onion a good head start to prevent it from burning, giving it a bitterness that would be impossible to conceal or take away.
I am surprised to see that I am not afraid to add one or two extra cloves to almost every recipe, and I am a big fan of this soup.
One of the reasons why garlic plays such a large role in Czech and Czech cuisine is that the native Czech garlic is traditionally considered to be of higher quality than the garlic produced elsewhere. Although local production of Czech garlic has increased considerably in the last two decades, local garlic is still preferred by the pride of some Czech consumers.
Nowhere is the spirit of garlic more evident than in the cuisine of the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia, where it is most prevalent than in the local restaurants.
Basically, add the garlic and melted butter and heat in a large saucepan of water for a few minutes to allow some of its oil flavour to escape into the saucepan. As soon as you cook, reduce the heat and allow the liquid to thicken until all the flavour of the oil has come out of your garlic.
Let the onions cook a little before adding the garlic, this caramelisation should release the natural sweetness of the onion and leave you with a sharper flavour base. You will want to caramelise your garlic for a few minutes to extract as much of its flavour as possible, while giving it a light colour. We’re talking about a ton of garlic here, be warned.
When I get up in the evening, I just want to see the snow and sleet out the window, but all the excitement makes me hungry. I’m looking forward to something light and I’m slumped on the couch with corned beef and cabbage, which I’ve cooked for the season in advance.
I really fell in love with the comfort that this garlic bomb soup offers and I plan to expand my winter arsenal because I know that there will be more sniffles and sneezes in the coming months. Just chopping garlic and onion together is enough to clean my sinuses, so I wasn’t even hungry when I made this soup. To add a further flavour to the soup, I added a handful of marjoram.