Slovak Garlic Soup or Cesnaková Polievka

Every time we go to Slovakia, there is one dish we always ask for in the restaurants. Slovak garlic soup is known as cesnaková polievka or cesnačka in Slovak. It’s very common in most restaurants. Now, there are a couple of variants of this soup and the “normal” recipe seems to be a bit more complicated than ours. You can read more about it here >

In Slovakia, the soup can be either clear or made with cream. The soup usually contains bread croutons and cheese. And if you want to be really fancy, you can ask for it in a bread bowl. Serving soup in bread is slightly too advanced for us. However, our garlic soup is inspired by the soup we usually ate in one of our favorite restaurants while living in Bratislava. The soup there was extremely garlicky – for a while, we had a Finnish flatmate, and he could always tell when we had been to that restaurant. Apparently, the whole flat would smell of garlic. Maybe it was a good thing, with Transylvania being so close and all.

This is a great dish when you feel like cooking something that is both quick, cheap and tasty. It works as a starter as well.

For our Slovak garlic soup you’ll need (for 2 servings):

  • Garlic cloves (the more, the better) – at least 7 is good.
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (unless you want to make that stock yourself)
  • Cheese
  • Bread & butter
Garlik, vitlök, Slovak Garlic Soup
Garlic for the soup

You boil some water and add the stock cube. Mince the garlic cloves and add to the soup. You can add some cheese to the soup when it’s about ready. I personally like it very much – the more cheese the better, is my opinion!. The cheese should melt into the soup. Usually, there are croutons as well, but we have decided to skip them – simply because we don’t like them.

Slovak garlic soup, Cesnaková Polievka
Adding the garlic into the soup

Slovak garlic soup is a great starter and it’s also very good on those freezing winter days. It’s not very filling on its own, so our recommendation is that you have some bread and butter to go with it. Or eat it is a starter. This one is great when you have caught a cold as well. You might not want to eat this dish before having a hot date unless your dates love garlic. In that case, you should try to woo him/her with some delicious Slovak garlic soup. Chances are that s/he has never even heard of it!

Slovak Garlic Soup, Slovakisk vitlökssoppa, cesnaková polievka, cesnačka, Slowakische Knoblauchsuppe, Zupa czosnkowa Słowacki
Slovak garlic soup: ready, steady, eat!

First published 2016-01-11, updated 2017-03-19.

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe! 🙂 When was living in Prague (now more than 10 years ago) this was one of the nicest soups they had on offer. Never did try making it at home afterwards, but this looks so simple, easy and delicious, I have bookmarked it to try in the coming winter months. 🙂

  2. I love garlic soup yet it’s over 10 years since I last had it. I made it for some friends to say “thank you” for all their help during a retreat I was running. There was also garlic in practically everything else we cooked that evening. I think the only element that didn’t contain garlic were the strawberries and ice cream at the end of the meal. It was then we discovered one of the guests of honour was allergic to garlic AND strawberries. Talk about a disaster! He was very gracious about it: however, I think that’s why I haven’t attempted it since. Will definitely give it a go now though. Thanks for the memory.

  3. I love garlic but I never had a garlic soup. I had once some Courchsurfers from Germany who found on the coast some “garlic herbs” and made a soup out of them, which was simply delicious, very garlicky. The recipe you’ve made is really easy, I might try it out one day.

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