Some foods seem to be an acquired taste, or maybe just for some people. I’m not sure, what I am sure of is that this soup is one my mother loves. We didn’t have it very often, my father wasn’t a fan and when we were growing up I wasn’t much of a fan either. I remember my mom would get a craving and she would make a small pot and she would savor it, often alone. But as with many of the other unusual flavors I wasn’t born loving, as a teenager I was curious and when I had a taste on one of those days she made a small pot, I fell in love with it.
Perhaps it’s the love of sour that I share with my mom that won me over in this soup. Or perhaps it was just time. In any event, like my mom, I now make a small pot of this, when I have a craving and I savor it.
If you have had or like the koprová omáčka – Dill Sauce that is so traditionally Czech you will probably like this as well. Though I need to warn you, the traditional Dill Sauce is a sweet and sour combination, this soup has none of that sweetness, made without sugar it’s just a little tart… which I love.
I know many Czechs would say that mushrooms are essential though I can tell you that often times we didn’t have mushrooms and my mom would have a craving so she would make it without them. This is a truly Czech version that I found online Prava kulajda it can and has been adjusted many ways at my house, using extra vinegar and a bit of sour salt if we didn’t happen to have sour cream on hand. Our versions weren’t always quintessential to the homeland but they were always good.
Kulajda – Sour Dill Soup
- 2-4 potatoes (peeled and chopped into small cubes)
- 4-6 cups water (a little more than enough to cover the potatoes in a pot)
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorn
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3-4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons vinegar (regular white)
- handful of chopped fresh or soaked dried mushrooms *optional 😉 if you dislike mushrooms
- handful of chopped fresh dill
- 1-2 tablespoons caraway seeds
- Salt to taste
Rinse the chopped and peeled potatoes and cover with just a little more water than needed, add the bay leaves and peppercorns and caraway seeds if you’re using them. Once the potatoes are soft, mix the flour (in a cup) in with the sour cream, mixing well. Add liquid from the hot soup a couple of tablespoons at a time until it’s smooth and then (just to be safe and avoid lumps) run the mixture through a fine strainer back into the soup pot. Bring to a simmer until the soup thickens. Then add the vinegar, handful of mushrooms and chopped fresh dill.
This is where you can get a little fancy if you’re serving this right away. Break open the eggs and allow them to cook in the soup (like poached eggs) for about 3 minutes until soft boiled. Or you can make it the way I’ve always made it and once you add the eggs swirl through them with a fork so that you have broken chunks of eggs in the soup. The more you swirl through them the smaller the chunks.
Serve and enjoy!