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Where There Be…(Easy) Comfort Food Recipes from Around the World 

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Alex Biddle

Soup season is upon us. With temperatures dropping, the chilly nights call for comfort foods…which usually means soup, soup, soup! We’ve compiled a few of our go-to winter recipes that are easy, delicious, and festive. Throw together an easy weeknight dinner, or garnish these simple recipes to impress guests at your holiday potluck!

Bramboračka – Momma Czech’s Beloved Potato Soup

By Eva Vanek, Dragons Outreach Director

Growing up, we always had soup boiling on the stove. Each soup was a creative blend of questionably safe-to-eat vegetables that would beautifully come back to life with a bit of stock, hours of bubbling, and pinches of love. Known by all, the crowning achievement of Momma Czech’s inventions was her Bramboračka – a soup that, despite its frequency, never tasted exactly the same. The chameleon-like, adaptable, and easy to produce qualities of Bramboračka always made this recipe feel a little magical. “Czech” in its origins but questionably improvised over the years – this soup is a cozy staple that can warm any home – from Kingston, Ontario to Kathmandu, Nepal. 

WARNING: This is NOT a precise recipe. 


  • Oil – any kind you like, but I recommend olive 
  • 4-6 potatoes of any kind – bonus points if they’re starting to sprout 🙂 
  • 1-2 carrots – chopped 
  • 1-2 celery stalks – chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed 
  • 1 onion – chopped 
  • 3 cups (but maybe more…) of vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 1 Bay leaf 
  • Splash of soy sauce, Brags or Maggi to bring out flavor 
  • Big slab of butter – ~3 tablespoons 
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients

  • Green onions – chopped 
  • Mushrooms – chopped 
  • Shallots – chopped 
  • Parsley – chopped 
  • Celery greens – chopped 
  • Cauliflower – chopped 


  1. Chop all vegetables and collect ingredients
  2. Fry all vegetables with salt and cook together until soft over medium heat 
  3. Add all herbs as you’d like 
  4. Add stock 
  5. Let boil…and then let simmer for hours 
  6. Add more stock as needed 
  7. Blend soup in a food processor or with immersion blender (I recommend blending the soup, BUT if you’re feeling the chunk, follow that feeling…)
  8. Bring soup back to a boil 
  9. Add soy sauce (or other flavor)
  10. Add butter
  11. Spice to perfection

Best served with crusty bread, lots of butter, and enjoyed with great people on an overcast day.


Chocolate Sausage

By Nate Marcus, Dragons Instructor and former Orientation Chef 

Chocolate… sausage? Yes. Originally an Italian recipe, this all-vegetarian chocolate biscotti dessert roll gets its inspiration from the biscotti looking like globules of fat, and the powdered sugar resembling a sausage’s outer casing. In addition to it being easy, fast and eyebrow-raising (I mean, the title alone…), it is delicious. So delicious, I’m now *The* Chocolate Sausage Guy who has to bring it or make it all the time for friends. It was even the star at a friend’s wedding. Only make it if you want to be liked by everyone you know. 

Makes 20-24 servings (each serving is a ~1/3 inch slice)


  • 14 ounces dark chocolate (66 – 70% cacao), chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped biscotti, shortbread or amaretti cookies
  • 1 ½ teaspoons amaretto (almond extract)
  • Powdered sugar


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. Heat over medium-low heat until chocolate is melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir biscotti and amaretto into melted chocolate. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes, or until firm enough to shape.
  3. Sprinkle a large sheet of parchment paper generously with powdered sugar. On the parchment paper, shape the chocolate mixture into a 12-inch long log. Wrap the log in parchment paper. Chill for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Slice before serving. 



Kadu Bouranee

By Renee Baumann, Dragons Orientation Chef 

This is an Afghan dish that I love to make in the winter. I first tried it at an Afghan restaurant in Baltimore, and the memory of this dish has stayed in my mind ever since. Pumpkins and winter squash are beloved in Afghan cuisine, and have a different flavor profile than what I was exposed to with typical American “pumpkin spices”. At its simplest the dish is just pumpkin cooked (usually with sugar) served with cold garlicky yogurt sauce. Pumpkins and winter squash are comforting, delicious and full of nutrients– Everything that I want to sustain me through the colder months here in the northern hemisphere.

This dish is extremely versatile and adaptable. It can be vegetarian or meat-filled. Very simple, or a show stopper. Side or main. Any type of squash with orange flesh will work. Cooking the pumpkin with sugar is traditional and gives it a really lovely texture. And the finished dish is all about the contrast between sweet earthy pumpkin and tangy garlicky yogurt sauce. If you want to skip the sugar, pick a naturally sweet squash and it will still taste great.

Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a side dish



  • 6 c. Any type of winter squash or pumpkin, diced into ½” cubes
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 large onion
  • 4-6  cloves garlic
  • 2 c. (1 can) crushed tomatoes or 2 c. diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 T fresh, grated ginger
  • 1 tsp dry turmeric powder
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 c. yogurt (substitute with a non-dairy option if you don’t eat dairy)
  • 1-2 medium cloves of garlic
  • Salt

Meat Sauce (optional)

  • 1 lb Ground Beef (it’s okay to substitute another meat or a non-meat substitute here) 
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Salt to tate

Serve with

  • Naan
  • Fresh mint leaves (cilantro is not traditional, but very good, too)




  1. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Remove the skin and cut flesh into ½” cubes. 
  2. Toss the pumpkin with sugar and transfer to a baking pan. Roast at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The sugar will draw water out of the pumpkin while it cooks. Once pumpkin is cooked, strain off the liquid and set it aside. 
  3. In a large sauce pan cook the onion in a little oil. After the onion is translucent, add the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook for a minute or two until the spices are fragrant. Add tomatoes. Add reserved pumpkin liquid. Taste and adjust the amount of salt, black pepper and ginger to your taste. At the very end, gently fold in the cooked pumpkin.  

Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  1. Skin garlic cloves and cut in half lengthwise. Remove any green shoots in the center. 
  2. Finely mince or grate garlic. Stir garlic into yogurt and let the flavors meld for ten minutes. 
  3. Add salt to taste. You want the yogurt sauce to have a slight saltiness and garlicky edge. 


  1. Cook onion until translucent. 
  2. Add garlic and beef and brown. 
  3. Add salt and black pepper to taste

Serve a scoop of the meat sauce topped with pumpkin and then drizzled liberally with the garlic sauce. Top with a few fresh mint leaves. Enjoy with warm naan. 


We hope you enjoy these warming and hearty dishes. If you make any of these recipes, post a photo and tag us on social media @wheretherebedragons. Happy cooking! 

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