Potato soup with summer savory

Summer savory (Satureja hortensiscsombor or borsikafű in Hungarian), which has been growing in our garden for seven years, can be described as a cross between thyme and mint, with a hint of marjoram. It’s the annual cousin to hardy winter savory, both are native to the sunny slopes of the Mediterranean region, though summer savory bears a more mild flavor.

Summer savory

Summer savory a delicate plant with small, light green leaves; it has a sweet and spicy smelling and an intensive peppery flavour. It’s the kind of herb that’s compatible with a wide array dishes. Summer savory is an essential spice of the Transylvanian cuisine, it’s commonly paired with sauerkraut, pork, soups, sauces and sausages.

This soup is lighter than the classic Hungarian potato soup, it doesn’t contain roux and smoked sausages, it’s just thickened with a flour-sour cream mixture. Before serving it’s recommended to let the flavours merge for 20-30 minutes.

photos: zserbo.com


  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 50 g (~1 3/4 oz) celery root
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp lard
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp summer savory
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1,2-1,5 l (~5-6 cups) water
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 heaping tbsp sour cream

Peel and dice the vegetables, chop onion and garlic cloves. In a pot heat lard, add onions, a bit later the chopped garlic, and sauté until translucent. Add carrots and celeriac and cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly.

Add potatoes and pour in water just enough to cover the vegetables. Cover the pot with a lid and over low heat simmer until half-cooked. Stir occasionally. Sprinkle paprika over the vegetables, give it a good stir, then add water and season the soup with salt, pepper and summer savory. Bring it to a boil and over medium heat cook until soft and tender.

In a small bowl whisk together flour and sour cream. When the vegetables are tender, ladle some soup over the sour cream to combine. In a fine stream pour the mixture in the soup while stirring continuously. Cook the soup for further 3-4 minutes. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes before serving.

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