Recipe for a favorite Czech soup

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Budget Travel's October issue has an article (Tour de Friends) about two friends biking from Salzburg to Prague with nothing but a GPS device to guide them.

During the trip, the two friends discovered a Czech soup, made with caraway seed and potatoes, and they ordered it every chance they got.

I was curious about this soup, called cesneka (ches-netch-kah). I asked our friends at Czech tourism to tracked down the recipe for it online. I've pasted it below. Enjoy!

Traditional Czech garlic soup:

A Czech standby, cesnecka is a thin—meatless—garlic-laced broth containing small pieces of potato, served with fried bread cubes.

8 cups water or broth 1 Tbs salt 6 cloves garlic

1 tsp marjoram 4 slices of dark rye bread 1 tsp caraway seeds, crushed

2 medium potatoes, diced 1 tsp fresh black pepper 2 Tbs butter or lard

2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

1. Mash the garlic with the salt: do this either with a mortar and pestle, or use a garlic press to crush the garlic and then mix in the salt.

2. Place the garlic and salt in a large pot and add the water or broth. Slowly bring the water to a boil, reduce heat and keep on a simmer. Add the crushed caraway seeds, potatoes, marjoram, butter or lard, and ginger. Simmer, uncovered, till the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add freshly ground black pepper and some more salt if needed.

3. Fry the slices of bread in bacon drippings or butter till golden brown. Place a slice of bread in each soup bowl and ladle the garlic soup over it. Sprinkle on parsley.


On the forums at, one guy emphatically recommends the cesnecka soup at a restaurant in Prague called U Provaznice.

This restaurant got a rave review on Trip Advisor for its soup. Strangely, cigarettes are also on the menu!

Read the story: Tour de Friends.

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