Friday, January 11, 2013

After all the interest on Facebook in our soup, I decided to make the recipe available here. So, go ahead and enjoy it. Well worth the effort.


For making 5 litres of soup. It is easily frozen.


6 carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into cubes
¼ - ½ rutabaga (swede), peeled and cut into cubes

To make chicken stock and cook chicken:

10 chicken thighs with skin on
1 carrot
1 stick celery
½ onion
Bay leaf
½ tsp salt

For thickening agent or, as the Czechs call it, jiska (jeeshka):

3.5oz lard
3.5 oz flour
1½ large onions, diced fine
2 generous tsp paprika
½ - 1 tsp cayenne, depending on how spicy you like it and this soup should be spicy!

8 cloves of garlic, crushed and divided into 2

1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp dried marjoram



Place chicken thighs in a large pressure cooker with the sliced carrot, celery, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf and ½ tsp salt and fill with water, to as much water as pressure cooker takes. Mine is about 4-5 litres. Cook on high, as per your pressure cooker instructions, until done (about 30 mins). Remove chicken and cool. Discard onion, carrot and celery. Preserve stock and skim off excess fat as stock cools.

Dice carrots, parsnips and rutabaga to same size and put in stock pot. Add stock and 2 tsp salt and bring to boil. Simmer until vegetables almost cooked.

To make jiska:

In frying pan, add lard and onions and fry until yellow, glossy. Add ½ amount of garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add flour and stir constantly until colour just begins to turn yellowish. Add paprika and cayenne. Remove some of the cooked stock and add to frying pan, stirring constantly until mixed then empty all contents of frying pan to soup pot. There may appear lumps but these will vanish when soup is brought back to boiling point and by stirring.

Chop chicken into small pieces, include some skin too for flavour but not all. Before adding chicken to pot, taste the soup for amount of salt. I usually find for this quantity that 5½ tsp works well but as per your taste. Add chicken to pot, add caraway and marjoram and remaining garlic. Stir and bring back to boil.

DONE. Best left to stand for 24 hours before serving so that everything melds together.. Freezes well for up to 6 months. Serve with bread. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Fencing Life

Several years ago my husband took up fencing with epee and from the start was very good at it (of course he had been doing martial arts since he was knee high!). Lacking a partner to practice his moves with  I, without a second thought, offered my services and before long was requesting a fencing kit and blade myself. Now I should note that I have NOT had many years of martial art experience to draw on and therefore have been quite a slow learner, unfortunately when you start this sort of venture and already have gray hair you begin to realize that time may not be on your side. Now some years later and about a week ago the “penny actually dropped” on some of the moves and with patient diligence my husband may actually be rewarded one day in the future with a fencing partner.

We visited a club in the next town to ours last week after a two year absence and to my surprise I was able to better a few young bucks and what a character building experience that was – definitely feels like it should make you live longer. However, the next day I felt a decade older! - short-lived gratification for sure.

Now, to get myself up for next Wednesday’s visit to the fencing club. They are not going to be fooled a second time into thinking what a sweet gray-haired old lady I am. What I lack in technique (my husband’s words) I seem to make up for in part by unbridled aggression. Works for me………