Czech Republic Comfort Food Recipe for Garlic Soup: Heartily Satisfying and Number One Hangover Cure

by DerdriuMarriner

Easy to make and deliciously aromatic, Garlic Soup is favored as Czech comfort food and as an Eastern European hangover cure.


Garlic soup (Česnečka) is an extraordinary soup which wafts its enticing aroma throughout the Czech Republic as an endearing, enduring comfort food.

Garlic soup is centered around a thin broth laced with three main ingredients of garlic, potatoes, and toasted bread cubes (usually rye).

Additionally, garlic soup enjoys a solid reputation throughout Eastern Europe as the number one cure for hangovers!


garlic soup (Česnečka): enticing Czech comfort food in a bowl


Glorious garlic in Czech cuisine


The stature of garlic soup (Česnečka) as easy and satisfying comfort food is not restricted to its popularity as an effective home remedy for hangovers throughout Eastern Europe. Garlic soup appeals to Czech households as a delicious dish which is easy to prepare and which sparkles with health and vitality.

Czech cuisine honors garlic (Allium sativum) as one of its most popular vegetables. Between 6,500 and 7,000 tons of garlic are consumed annually in the Czech Republic. Also emblematic of the esteem accorded to the bulbous plant is the Garlic Germplasm Collection, one of the world's major collections, with 648 varieties of garlic, carefully maintained in Olomouc, in eastern Czech Republic's historic county of Moravia.

In recent years, nevertheless, the Czech Republic has been facing a challenge confronted by other garlic-loving countries such as France, Germany, and even Spain, one of the world's largest garlic producers. Competition from China's lower priced garlic is steadily eroding domestic garlic production.

  • For example, in the 1990s, around 1,300 hectares (3,212 acres) were devoted to garlic plantings in the Czech Republic.
  • By 2010, however, domestic garlic holdings had plummeted to less than 6 percent of their former crop grandeur, with a national allotment of only 28 hectares (70 acres).

Fortunately, the emphasis on preservation of garlic varieties offers the hope of a return to domestic production in the near or distant future.

  • Garlic preserves well, in storage for hundreds of years, at cryogenic temperatures of around 200 degrees below zero.
  • Thawing does not destroy its normal physiological qualities.


Garlic Soup (Česnečka)

Prep time 5 min  -  Total time 40 min
Ingredients for 6 servings
Depending upon portion size, yields 4 to 6 servings.
Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (4 Votes)



4 cloves garlic, mashed with mortar and pestle

  • or:  crushed with garlic press
  • or:  diced

1 Tablespoon salt

2 Tablespoons butter or lard or oil (for soup)

1 teaspoon crushed caraway seeds

1 teaspoon marjoram

3 medium potatoes, cubed

6 cups of water or stock (meat, poultry or vegetable)

black pepper to taste

4 slices dark rye bread


Optional:  2 Tablespoons butter (for bread)

Optional:  parsley (for garnish)




1. Crush, dice, or mash garlic and then place in a large pot along with salt.

  • Add butter (or oil or lard), caraway seeds, marjoram, and potatoes.
  • Cover with 6 cups of water.

2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

3. Sprinkle with black pepper and keep on burner for about 5 minutes, while toasting rye bread.

  • Toast bread either in toaster or oven or fry in butter until both sides are golden brown.
  • Cut bread into cubes.

4. Remove pot from burner and ladle into soup tureen or into individual bowls.

  • Garnish with rye cubes and, if desired, parsley.
  • Serve hot.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.


homemade garlic soup (domácí česnečka): welcome aroma, sight, and taste in Czech households

Domácí česnečka
Domácí česnečka



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources. 


Sources Consulted


"Czech Republic's garlic in danger of extinction." Fresh Plaza. 7/9/2012. FreshPlaza. Web.

  • Available at:


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DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 03/23/2015, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 10/15/2014

burntchestnut, Me, too, I appreciate the distinctive aroma and mellow taste of garlic. It's fascinating that the flavor of the soup is much subtler than its strong cooking aroma.

AngelaJohnson on 10/15/2014

I love the taste and smell of garlic. RupertTaylor - I'll have to check the next time I go grocery shopping to see where their garlic is from (if it's marked). The store I go to has an organic section, so I'll check there, too. Your article is dated 2007, but I doubt anything has changed. I check all food labels and can't believe how much comes from China (which I won't buy).

DerdriuMarriner on 10/14/2014

RupertTaylor, Thank you for providing the link to the Washington Post article on Chinese garlic. Championing a global economy should not entail unfair competitive advantages which relax controls on distant sources while significantly damaging local markets.
Me, too, I favor local and reputable food sources. I like to know what my money is supporting.

RupertTaylor on 10/14/2014

I absolutely will not buy Chinese garlic. Apart from the fact that it tastes dreadful I have concerns about the safety of any food product coming from the People's Republic. We can always get good quality local garlic at farmers markets. See article below.

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