First up is Brazil vs Croatia. Home-turf advantage may win favour with this delicious traditional and signature squash-soup dish originating in northeastern Brazil known as Quibebe; perfect for a cold winter night.
Brazilian Quibebe (Squash Soup)
Serves 2 to 3
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp crushed red chilli flakes
900g butternut, cubed
4 cups beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp chopped parsley to garnish
1. Melt butter in a pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, tomato, garlic, and crushed red chilli. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
2. Add the butternut, beef stock, salt and sugar.
3. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the butternut is soft and tender.
4. Purée the mixture in a blender. Once it’s well blended, place it back in the pot and let it cook for another 5 minutes or until smooth and consistent.
5. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.
Next up is Croatian goulash. Croatians love using lard and all-purpose seasoning called Vegeta in their meals. Unfortunately this is not readily available in South Africa, so we have adjusted the recipe slightly, while still keeping its delicious flavour.
900g lean ground beef
4 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups water
800ml tomato sauce or tomato paste
2 cans (400g each) diced tomatoes
3 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp mix of garlic powder and coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbsp salt
2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
tossed salad and garlic bread (optional)
1. In a deep pot, cook ground beef on medium-high until no pink remains, stirring occasionally and breaking up meat with side of spoon. Spoon off any fat. Add onions and garlic to beef and cook until onions are tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soya sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, garlic powder and black pepper mix, and salt; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 20 minutes to blend flavours, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir elbow macaroni into beef mixture and simmer on low, covered, for 25 minutes longer or until macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally to prevent macaroni from sticking.
4. Remove pot from heat. Discard bay leaves and allow beef mixture to sit for about 30 minutes before serving. Serve with tossed salad and garlic bread, if you like.