Bon Appétit! Mahlzeit!

20.10.2020Guest AuthorGuest Author

Text: Benedikt Roth, Styling: Sven Christ

“Eating soup gives you round knees” is a somewhat curious local saying here in Tirol. Its origin can be traced back to the fact that until a few decades ago soups were the main staple food in this region. Unlike today, soup wasn’t just a starter but a meal in its own right. It was often served both in the morning and in the evening. With so much soup on the menu, there was plenty of motivation for locals to come up with delicious and creative recipes. With limited transport and long distances, each valley had its own speciality. In the Zillertal Valley, for example, the soup of choice today remains the cheesy “Graukäsesuppe”. In the west of Tirol, the Oberland, there is nothing better than a steaming bowl of “Krapflsuppe”. That makes a trip around Tirol a journey of discovery from a culinary point of view. We have put together a few of our favourites. Scroll down to find out more. Whether or not you follow the tradition of going without bowls and simply eating straight from the pot is up to you!

Potato soup

Potato soup

Ingredients

  • 250g pork shoulder
  • 1.3 litres water
  • Salt
  • Peppercorns
  • Root vegetables
  • 50g butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 50g flour
  • 350g potatoes
  • Tarragon
  • Chives

Preparation

Cook the meat with the herbs until soft. Melt the butter, then add the chopped onions and flour. Add the meat juice and the diced potatoes. Cook for 25 minutes. Cut the meat into pieces, add to the soup, garnish with tarragon and chives.

Unterland

Instead of pork shoulder, people in the east of the region (Unterland) often use a pig’s head. One of the best things about soup was that you could make good use of the less appetising parts of animals.

Pretzel soup

Pretzel soup

Ingredients

  • 4 pretzels
  • Hot water
  • 150g “Graukäse” or “Zieger” cheese (mature, parmesan-like “Graukäse”)
  • 50g butter
  • 2 white onions
  • Paprika powder
  • Flour
  • Chives
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation

Heat butter and flour in the pan until light brown. Add water and cheese and leave for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add pretzel. As soon as the pretzel has absorbed some of the soup, serve. Cut onions into thin slices, mix flour with paprika powder, toss the onions in the mixture, fry in the pan and then use with chives as a garnish.

Wildschönau

This soup was traditionally popular during Lent because it is vegetarian but very filling. It is still eaten in many places on Ash Wednesday.

Barley soup

Barley soup

Ingredients

  • 120g dried pork belly
  • 1 onion
  • 75g barley
  • 250g vegetables (carrots, celery)
  • 15 lietres water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley

Preparation

Cut dried pork belly into small pieces, heat in a pan and add onions. Add the barley briefly, add water and leave to simmer for 1 hour. After 40 minutes add vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and finally add parsley. Garnish with bloody dock and fried celeriac (optional).

Tirol

Barley soup can be found everywhere in Tirol. Barley is a hardy crop which grows at altitudes of up to 1,500 metres. In the past, bones were used instead of the more expensive pork belly. This bone would sometimes be passed to poorer families for them to use in their own barley soup.

“Graukäse” soup

“Graukäse” soup

Ingredients

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 250g “Graukäse” cheese
  • 4 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 litre beef broth
  • 1 potato
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Caraway seeds
  • 1/8 litre cream
  • Diced wholemeal bread
  • Dill

Preparation

Heat butter, add onions and garlic. Add “Graukäse” cheese until it melts, then add wine and beef broth. Add potatos, season and leave over a low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add cream, garnish and serve with diced wholemeal bread (toasted) and dill.

Zillertal

“Graukäse” cheese was traditionally eaten by the poor. The basic ingredients needed to make it were in plentiful supply: skimmed milk left over once the more prized cream has been removed. It is eaten in different ways, including with a vinegar dressing, in cheese dumplings or in soups like this one.

“Krapfl” soup

“Krapfl” soup

Ingredients for soup

  • 1 litre beef broth
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 carrot
  • Leek
  • Parsley

Ingredients for “Krapfl”

  • 40g butter
  • 3 gg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 40g flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • Salt

Preparation

Warm the butter slightly and then mix in a bowl until smooth. Add egg yolks one by one. Then add warm milk and flour. Beat egg whites and salt until stiff. Then fold this into the butter mixture. Pour finger-deep into a square baking tin coated with butter and sprinkled with flour. Bake in pre-heated oven (220°C) 8-10 minutes, then turn out onto baking paper. Once it has cooled, cut into diamond-shaped pieces. Cook parsnip, carrot and leep in beef broth until al dente, then serve with the “Krapfl” and a parsley garnish.

Oberland

Soups were normally served as main courses, so they had to be filling. One way to make them as hearty as possible was to add a range of different things such as dumplings and “Krapfl”. In some recipes the “Krapfl” are fried in butter before being added to the soup.

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