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Bramboračka: Czech Potato Soup

Serves 42 tablespoons unsalted butter3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour6 cups water½ teaspoon caraway seeds1 teaspoon salt1 cup peeled, diced yellow potatoes (about 2 small potatoes)3/4 cup peeled, diced carrots (about 1 medium carrot)3/4 cup peeled, diced parsnip (about 1 small parsnip)½ cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes1 teaspoon dried marjoram1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed {pinterest_rich_pins_images} Bramboračka: Czech Potato Soup {/pinterest_rich_pins_images}

Bramboračka: Czech Potato Soup

  • 1/3
    Classic Czech potato soup
  • 2/3
    The soup ingredients are ready: soaked dried porcini, garlic, root vegetables and spices
  • 3/3
    The right roux color for this soup is pale gold

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Oct 3, 2018

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Bramboračka is a classic Czech potato soup—a mouth-watering, nostalgic meal best appreciated during the frigid, short days of fall and winter. It comes together fairly quickly using just a handful of ingredients, but with each playing a distinctly key role and adding to the final, complex result: a silky, smooth soup with a nice, chewy texture.

Start with a roux base; it will make the soup creamy. Dice the root vegetables to the same size to get as many as possible in one bite. If you didn’t forage for wild mushrooms in a Czech forest last summer and didn’t sun-dry them yourself on old newspapers, by all means—use store-bought mushrooms. Dried marjoram goes stale very fast, so test it: Rub it with your fingers, and see if it smells fresh. To avoid bitter garlic taste, add it only after you take the soup off the heat.


  1. Serves 4
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  4. 6 cups water
  5. ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 cup peeled, diced yellow potatoes (about 2 small potatoes)
  8. 3/4 cup peeled, diced carrots (about 1 medium carrot)
  9. 3/4 cup peeled, diced parsnip (about 1 small parsnip)
  10. ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  11. 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  12. 1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed


Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the butter, and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until pale gold in color, about 4–5 minutes.


Pour the water into the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the caraway seeds, salt, potatoes, carrots and parsnip. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Drain the porcini mushrooms, squeeze out and discard any liquid, and add them to the soup. Cook for 5 minutes.


Turn off the heat, and stir in the marjoram and garlic. Taste for salt.


2 reader comments on Bramboračka: Czech Potato Soup.

Michal Martinek said:

Thanks Mari! Love this story. I will try it with allspice next time.

March 20 at 9:55 am

Mari said:

My Bohemian grandmother made a soup like this that was almost identical.  However, instead of referring to it as a potato soup, we called it mushroom soup, because mushrooms were the predominant ingredient.  She would use both dried and or fresh mushrooms, depending on what she had.  Like this soup, it was thickened with a roux, and contained potatoes and carrots.  Instead of parsnips, she would add green beans.  And instead of marjoram, she would add allspice (she did use marjoram in other soups, like liver dumpling soup, but not in mushroom soup).  Anyway, this soup was delicious and contained no cream—which is different from most of the other mushroom soups you see.  The dark broth and mushrooms, with the white potatoes, orange carrots and green beans was also quite colorful.  Thank you for sharing this recipe.  This soup was a staple in our kitchen.

March 19 at 10:58 pm

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