This is a recipe for Czech potato soup, which we call bramboračka or bramborová polévka in the Czech Republic. It’s a traditional old-fashioned potato soup loaded with root vegetables, mushrooms, and other healthy ingredients.
Czechs think of this peasant potato soup as their culinary treasure, and today, I’ll show you how to make it from scratch.
➜ What Is Bramboračka?
Bramboračka is a hearty and incredibly delicious Czech potato soup made with root vegetables, onions, and potatoes. Mushrooms and dried marjoram are critical ingredients.
NOTE: For those who avoid eating meat, I’ve got good news: this recipe is meatless, and it is, therefore, a vegetarian potato soup. It doesn’t contain any cheese, milk, or cream, either.
MY TIP: Try out split pea soup, Czech Christmas hrachova polevka (it tastes so good!)
I recorded a short audio clip on how to pronounce the Czech word bramboračka.
The first word in the audio is "bramboračka", the last is "bramborová polévka", which means potato soup. Brambor is a potato in English.
Root veggies are very typical for authentic Czech bramboračka. Here is a summary of what you’ll need to make this soup:
- Potatoes; peeled and diced, use any all-purpose potatoes
- Root vegetables: parsley root, celeriac, carrot; peeled and diced into app. ½-inch pieces
- Onions; finely chopped
- Flour; used in the roux to thicken the soup
- Mushrooms; dried or frozen, I described how to make bramboračka with dried mushrooms in this recipe
- Butter; a relatively large amount, to sauté the veggies initially, it’s an important step to get the flavor to the bramboračka soup! You’ll find a section The base for flavorful soup further in this post (instructions with photos).
- Cloves of garlic; sliced
- Caraway seeds; crushed for more flavor (learn, how to grind spices by hand)
- Dried marjoram; a typical Czech spice
- Black pepper; ground
- Parsley leaves; to garnish the finished soup
Dried marjoram and crushed caraway seeds give this soup the real sense of "Czech". Both spices are widespread in Czech cuisine.
✅ You’ll find the exact amount of ingredients below in the recipe card, which you can also print out.
STEP 1: Clean and peel vegetables (carrot, parsley root, celeriac, potatoes), dice them into ½-inch pieces. Peel and slice the cloves of garlic. Chop the onion finely.
STEP 2: Soak the dried mushrooms in a 1.¼ cup of water, bring them to a boil and cook them for about 10 minutes. Reserve the mushroom broth for later.
STEP 3: Heat a pot with a thick bottom on medium, melt in the butter. Add the root vegetables (carrot, parsley root, celeriac – not the onion yet).
STEP 4: Fry vegetables until lightly golden (5-8 minutes), stirring occasionally. Only now, add the onion and fry while stirring for 5 minutes.
STEP 5: Lower the heat to third, and let’s go to make a roux. Add flour with crushed caraway to the vegetables, fry for about 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are covered with flour, and turn lightly golden brown. Stir frequently to prevent the flour from burning.
STEP 6: Pour in the water in batches, whisking to avoid lumps. Season with salt and pepper. Turn up the temperature and bring the soup to a boil.
STEP 7: Add diced potatoes, chopped garlic, mushrooms, and about ½-1 cup of mushroom broth. Lower the temperature and let it simmer until the potatoes soften. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
STEP 8: As the last step, add dried marjoram. Rub the marjoram before adding in your fingers to release its essential oils. Cook for a further 1 minute, then remove the bramboračka soup from the stove.
STEP 9: Add salt and pepper to your liking, and stir. Sprinkle with a chopped sprig of parsley before serving.
MY TIP: Don’t miss Květáková polévka, Czech white cauliflower soup
➜ The Base for a Flavorful Soup
If you have ever wondered how to add flavor to potato soup, here is the answer: you need to make a rich base for the soup. That said, you must sauté the veggies in butter in the very beginning, not just cook them plain in water. Just try it; the soup will taste absolutely delicious!
1: In a pot with a thick bottom, melt the butter, and add the diced veggies (parsley root, carrot, and celeriac). Sauté for 5-8 minutes while stirring:
2: Add the chopped onion, sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir occasionally:
STEP 3: Add the flour and the caraway seeds, mix, and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. This step makes a base for roux, which thickens the bramboračka soup:
More Czech soups:
- Česnečka – garlic soup known as a hangover soup
- Zelňačka – Czech style sauerkraut soup
- Gulášová polévka – spiced goulash soup
- Sourdough soup – with mushrooms
- Tripe soup – drztkova polevka
Still hungry? Browse the category for soup recipes!
If you are a fan of mushrooms, try scrambled eggs with mushrooms (Czech smazenice)!
Bramboračka uses roux made from flour and fat to thicken it. Flour is added into the potato soup, then sautéed in butter for 1-2 minutes. Finally, the water is whisked in and cooked with the soup for about 15-20 minutes. This way, the floury taste will disappear, and the soup will thicken.
Czech potato soup goes best with fresh rye bread. Bramboračka is very filling; if you serve this soup as an appetizer before the main dish, then the main dish should be lighter. The soup can also be served as a light lunch.
Tried this recipe?
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Bramboračka – Czech Potato Soup
- 4 onions
- 1 carrot
- 3 ounces celeriac (80-100 g)
- 1 parsley root
- 5 potatoes middle-sized
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 handful mushrooms dried
- 1 and ¼ cups water (300 ml) to soak mushrooms
- 1 stick butter (110 g) unsalted
- ½ tablespoon caraway seeds crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram use 1 level tablespoon
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (40 g)
- 5 cups water (1.2 l) for soup
- Clean and peel vegetables (carrot, parsley root, celeriac, potatoes), dice them into ½-inch pieces. Peel and slice the cloves of garlic. Chop the onion finely.
- Soak the dried mushrooms in a 1.¼ cup of water, bring them to a boil and cook them for about 10 minutes. Reserve the mushroom broth for later.
- Heat a pot with a thick bottom on medium, melt in the butter. Add the root vegetables (carrot, parsley root, celeriac – not the onion yet).
- Fry vegetables until lightly golden, stir occasionally. Only now, add the onion and fry while stirring for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to third, and let’s go to make a roux.
- Add flour with crushed caraway to the vegetables, fry for about 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are covered with flour, and turn lightly golden brown. Stir frequently to prevent the flour from burning.
- Pour in the water in batches, whisk to avoid lumps. Season with salt and pepper. Turn up the temperature and bring the soup to a boil.
- Add diced potatoes, chopped garlic, mushrooms, and about ½-1 cup of mushroom broth. Lower the temperature and let it simmer until potatoes soften. It takes about 15-20 minutes.
- As the last step, add dried marjoram. Rub the marjoram before adding in your fingers to release its essential oils. Cook for a further 1 minute, then remove the bramboračka soup from the stove.
- Add salt and pepper to your liking, stir. Sprinkle with a chopped sprig of parsley before serving.
- Makes about 4 portions.
- Bramboračka soup is even thicker the following day!
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart
Fabulous recipe! Love it 🙂 Plus your website is amazing and really well done.
Hi Stana, thank you very much for your lovely comment 🙂 I’m doing my best! I strongly believe that Czech recipes are great and deserve their place in the world cuisine.
The summary instructions are missing marjoram, although it is mentioned elsewhere. This is a key ingredient! Otherwise, very good guidance.
Aw, you are absolutely right, I forgot to name the marjoram in the ingredient list, my mistake! You need about 1 level tablespoon of dried marjoram for this bramboračka soup. A good tip is to gently rub marjoram in your palm before adding it into the soup, which results in the release of its distinct aroma and flavor. I edited the post, and once again, I apologize for the inaccuracy!
Ahojky from Switzerland. My 14 year old son is visiting me from Brno, and I'm cooking this for his birthday. Thanks very much for the recipe.
Ahojky Simon 🙂 I wish you good luck with the Bramboračka soup and Happy Birthday for your son!
Always an excellent soup, your recipe is well written.
Thank you very much, and yes, Czech bramboračka is always THE potato soup! In our family, it’s eaten immediately, rarely left until the next day 🙂
jindrich (henry) popule
hi from the other side of the Atlantic ocean' delicious and without adoubt best soup receipt,|
Ahoj from the Czech Republic, thanks for your kind words and for stopping by! This bramboračka is one of our favorite soups in our family, and the recipe is tried and tested; I'm glad you like it! Best regards, Petra
I was wondering - can you use fresh mushrooms for this or would that change the broth?
Ahoj, thanks for an interesting question! If you use fresh mushrooms, cut them into small slices, salt, and fry for a few minutes in a bit of butter. Then add them to the soup together with potatoes. I hope I've made it clear. Moc tě zdravím, Petra
ahoj! skvely napad a jeho provedeni, tyhle stranky. Moc se tesim az to vsechno vyzkousim a nalakam tim svoje deti (holka 15 a kluk 12 let) na vetsi zajem o ceskou kulturu a jazyk.
Pavel (sice uz nekolik dekad v Americe, ale prece jenom z Prahy!)
Ahoj Pavle, děkuji za tak milý komentář! 🙂 Vyzkoušej a dej vědět, jak recepty fungují - za každou zpětnou vazbu jsem vděčná.
Jinak svoje děti také stále tahám do kuchyně. Někdy se dají, jindy zase ne 🙂
Jsi už několik dekád v Americe?? Teda, tvoje čeština je perfektní!
Попробуйте его со сметаной, будет еще вкуснее. Спасибо за рецепт!
Thank you for your comment and feedback! The cream (smetana) is always a good idea, but I have to say that the classic Czech potato soup does not contain it. But that doesn't mean we can't experiment and try new things sometimes!
Best wishes, Petra
Not bad and very simple.
Thanks for your feedback!
Thank you for the recipe. I am wondering: how long do I soak the mushrooms prior to cooking them?
this is very very good soup I have a recipe for a potato soup that is polish does not call for the spice that you use nor the celiac root or parsley root I used turnip in my soup because this is what I grow I also grow shitake mushrooms and dry them this is what I used in my soup but everything else is your recipe excellent soup I always have on the Christmas dinner menu it is not Christmas without this soup thankyou
Thank you, Ray! I think you could use turnip and shitake mushrooms in this Czech potato soup as well.
It’s probably been at least 50+ years since I’ve had this at home. I’m working my way through your recipes and I haven’t been disappointed yet. They all remind me of my Czech grandmother and mom. These are the recipes I grew up on. The only change I made was using fresh mushrooms as that’s what I had on hand. I slowly browned them in butter. I also used a chicken stock I had instead of water. This is a great and easy to make dinner. We had it with a dark sourdough bread I made