Czech Comfort Food Recipe: Liver, Celery Root, and Onions in a Pot

by DerdriuMarriner

A popular vegetable in Czech cuisine, celeriac is a featured ingredient in Liver Soup, a favorite comfort food created from three basic ingredients: liver, onions, vegetable.

The cuisine of the Czech Republic is comfort food at its heartiest.

A favorite dish is a liver soup (Játrová polévka) with three main ingredients: liver, onions, and vegetables. Fascinating variations are possible through vegetable choices.

A popular featured vegetable is celeriac, or celery root, a prized ingredient in European cuisine.

celeriac, also known as celery root (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum): prized ingredient in European cuisine




Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) is also known as celery root, knob celery, and turnip-rooted celery. The root vegetable in the carrot and parsley family (Apiaceae) is a variety of celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce) and is native to the Mediterranean Basin.

Especially prevalent in eastern and northern European cuisines, celeriac may be enjoyed in raw or cooked states. Popular cooked preparations include:

  • blanching,
  • grilling,
  • mashing,
  • roasting,
  • sautéing,
  • steaming, and
  • stewing.

Celeriac's nutritional attributes include:

  • phosphorus, essential for cell metabolism, at 16 percent of recommended daily allowance;
  • poly-acetylene antioxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, methyl-falcarindiol, and panaxydiol, anti-cancer compounds which protect against colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL);
  • potassium, an essential mineral in regulating fluid balance, at 13 percent;
  • low starch content at 5 to 6 percent by weight;
  • Vitamin B6, known as pyridoxine, an essential nutrient which includes among its liver collaborations the creation of enzymes for fat and protein metabolism, at 13 percent RDA;
  • Vitamin C, which improves blood flow to the brain, at 10 percent RDA;
  • Vitamin K, essential for normal blood clotting, at 39 percent RDA.


With its high Vitamin K content, celeriac should be consumed judiciously by patients with high dosage prescriptions for anticoagulants.

Consumption of celeriac has been found to minimize neuronal damage in Alzheimer patients.

Celeriac cultivars which have garnered the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit designation include:

  • 'Monarch,'
  • 'Prinz,' and
  • 'Rowena.'


Czech Republic Comfort Food: Liver Soup (Játrová polévka)

Prep time: 5 minutes -- Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients for 6 servings

Depending upon portion size, yields 4 to 6 servings.



2 Tablespoons butter

1 pound liver, sliced into small strips

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 clove garlic, minced

browned butter sauce (roux):  

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 cups boiling water

1-1/2 cups celery root, diced


parsley, minced, for garnish



1. In a medium pot, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter over low heat.

  • Add garlic, liver, and onions when butter is half melted.

2. In a small saucepan, while liver mixture is browning:  

  • Make roux (browned butter sauce) by adding 1/4 cup flour to 4 Tablespoons melted butter. 
  • Sprinkle flour with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

3. When roux is golden brown, transfer to liver mixture and stir gently to mix.

  • Add boiling water and celery root.
  • Simmer over medium heat for about 25 minutes.


Remove from heat and serve hot.


According to taste, garnish with minced parsley.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.


liver (játra) and onions (cibule) in a pot (hrnci): steaming hot, simply delicious

Játra a cibule v hrnci
Játra a cibule v hrnci



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet. 


Image Credits


celeriac: DocteurCosmos, CC BY SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons @éleri-rave-fendu.jpg

Játra a cibule v hrnci: Dezidor, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons @átra_a_cibule_v_hrnci.jpg


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Updated: 01/04/2023, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 10/23/2014

Mira, Yes, tomato sauce is nice in this stew. It's one of the additions which I often make to this recipe because I like the interactions between celeriac and tomatoes. I value the appreciative status which celeriac enjoys in European cuisine. Please let me know whenever you make this liver stew with celeriac. Since you already appreciate celeriac, I'm sure that you'll like it in this stew.

Mira on 10/23/2014

P.S. I use celeriac quite a lot in my recipes as it's one of the staple foods here and I quite enjoy it; it's also very healthy, as you say :)

Mira on 10/23/2014

We make this liver stew with liver, onion, and tomato sauce. I'll try it with celeriac too :)

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