What’s in a name? In the case of this, so-called false soup from my Dubrovnik cookbook, apparently a bunch of lies. Because this vegetable soup is everything but false. However, since the first thing that comes to mind when someone from this part of the world, including Dubrovnik, says ‘soup’ is more of a meat-based broth, in the course of time, a soup with no meat in it somehow became ‘false’.
I’ll give you the list of ingredients, I’ll even give you the procedure, but please experiment and adapt this soup to your own taste. The reason I’m saying this is the fact that all three of us – my grandmother, my mother and myself – make ‘falsa juha’, but if you were to taste them all, none of them would be exactly the same. The ingredients vary according to the season and the consistency on how thick you like your soup to be.
So, here’s the deal: try my favorite version and then set out to make your own becuse there’s nothing more invigorating than a bowl of soup such as this one. It will certainly bring your energy back if you’re ill. True or false? Let’s go with false.
Recipe excerpted from the Dubrovnik cookbook What’s Cooking in Dubrovnik
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 teaspoon tomato concentrate
- 3 small carrots, finely grated
- 1 small potato, finely grated
- 1 small potato, diced
- 100 g green peas
- 1/2 cup rice
- a stalk of celery
- 2 stalks of parsley
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and cook on medium heat until translucent and soft. You don’t want to bite into it later. Put the flour in 200 ml water and pour into the pan. Stir vigorously, so that there are no lumps. Add another 200 ml water, tomato concentrate, carrots and both the grated and diced potatoes.
If necessary, pour some more water, just enough to cover (or, even better, use vegetable stock if you have some on hand) and cook on gentle heat for 15 minutes.
Add the peas, rice, celery and parsley and cook until the rice and peas are done. Keep an eye on the liquid – add more when necessary.
Season to taste and sprinkle with finely chopped dill. Serve warm, especially to those with a cold, a flu or a hangover.