PAJSLOUKA RABBIT and VEGETABLE SOUP/STEW

Czech name: Pajšlouka z králíka

Written by Daniel Papez

Pajslouka z kralika Krkonose’s cuisine (Krkonose translated as the Giant Mountains are the highest mountain range of the Czech Republic) modest (according to harsh climate and life conditions) and the dietary poor. In this situation, every usable part was consumed. The most basic foodstuff contained bread, milk (cows’ and goats’), cheeses and time to time even meat. Those days, the most widespread soups were Oukrop and Krkonosske kyselo (sour soup), the most significant dish from this region and popular until nowadays, source of proteins, vitamin B and fiber. Sundays’ and feasts’ meals were always more various. It included legumes (in Czech “lusteniny”), groats/barley (“kroupy”) and cabbage (“zeli”). During important feasts and holidays, desserts and cake were baked. They were sometimes plain just with streusel (“drobenka”) or with fruit (fresh or canned). A modification of this cuisine happened with the arrival of potatoes (“brambory”) in the late eighteenth century. They provided a cheap and more diverse food. Cabbage was also an important part of daily life combined with peas, dumplings, and bread. It was eaten as a source of vitamins. Sauerkraut and also the water from its used for making soups and for drinking. Sliced and dried fruit, called “krizaly” was popular. From old ages, there was always time to go out to the forest and hunt for some delicious mushrooms to eat and dry. An example of utilizing all parts of food is the soup named Pajslouka, made from rabbit’s entrails (“vnitrnosti”) and root vegetables. The name Pajslouka comes from the local term “pajsl” which refers to the lungs, heart, liver, tongue, and kidneys prepared with cream.

For more information about the Hradec Kralove Region and Liberec Region, from which this recipe comes, click here and here.

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb lungs, heart, liver, tongue and kidneys from a rabbit
1/2 gal water
7 Tbs butter
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sour-cream
2 peeled carrots
1-2 celery stalks
1 peeled parsnip
10 whole black peppercorns
4 whole allspice
2 bay leaves
vinegar and salt to taste

Instructions

In a large soup pot add water, washed entrails, allspice, peppercorn, bay leaf, and boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least two hours or for intense flavor cook for four hours. Finely grate the carrots, parsnip and celery saute in a frying pan with the butter until soft and golden brown. When the broth is cooked remove the spices and let the entrails cool. Add fried vegetables to the broths and cook it for twenty minutes. In a bowl whisk together the sour-cream and all-purpose flour then add to the broth. Continue whisking when adding to prevent lumps. Cut entrails into small pieces then add to the soup. Let it simmer, season with salt and vinegar to taste.