Mint – A Gypsy Favorite

As for the garden of mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes our spirits, as the taste stirs up our appetite for meat.

Mint is another commonly used herb and a real favorite with the true Romanies. Mint is sweet and refreshing, try a few chopped fresh leaves in a salad, also chop and add to pea soup and add it to the water of potatoes when they are nearly cooked. Mint is used with so many foods, because it is a great aid to digestion.

Romanies always use mint with carrots. They cook the carrots until tender in salted water and then strain them. Then add a sprinkle of sugar and a spoonful of chopped mint to the pan, return the strained carrots and shake them over a gentle heat until they are coated and reheated.

Parsley Soup

Saute a minced onion in a little butter or olive oil and add two large diced potatoes, 1/2 cup of white rice, 1 cup of chopped parsley (no stems) and about 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer half an hour. Just before serving, add 1 cup of fresh chopped parsley and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Or add fresh parsley and cheese to each bowl and ladle hot soup over it.

Recipe source unknown

Joe Grey Soup (Traditional Gypsy Recipe)

163_051027022519508_wideweb__300x375An authentic Romany Gypsy recipe for a cheap and filling sausage and potatoes soup. Like most traditional Romany recipes, its easy to make and can feed a large family cheaply.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 links pork sausage
  • 8 slices unsmoked back bacon, rindless
  • 2 onions, chopped into large chunks
  • 5 tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 medium potatoes, sliced
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • bread, to serve
  • butter, to serve


Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan and brown the sausages. Remove from the pan and cut each sausage into 3 pieces. Return to the pan.

Cut each bacon slice into 3, add to the pan and cook until browned. Add the onion and cook until browned. Cover the contents of the pan with boiling water, but not to the top of the pan. Continue cooking and add the sliced potato.

Cook until the potatoes are soft – you may need to top it up with more boiling water from the kettle. Add the sliced tomatoes and crumble in the stock cubes. Stir well and simmer until the tomatoes are soft.

Serve on plates (not bowls) with lots of fresh chunky bread

Serves 6




Get kidney suet from the butcher and grind or chop it very fine after removing all skin and blood. Knead this with wheat flour, salt, pepper, baking soda, and parsley and enough water to make a stiff dry dough. In another pan fry bacon or sausage meat until quite crispy and break into small pieces. Shape the dough (about the size of a golf ball) around the fried bacon or sausage, sealing the ball. Drop into the soup you will serve with it and let cook. They will swell up about three times bigger.

From: Journey Folki

Nettle Soup

Wear gloves when picking the nettle leaves! It is best to pick young tender leaves from an unpolluted area and away from roaming dogs. Also, avoid picking any herbs from the roadside because of exhaust fumes. Make sure you wash the leaves well.



  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 8 ozs tender nettle leaves
  • 5 and 3/4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated nutmeg


Heat the oil in a large pan and add the oil, onion and potatoes. Cook gently over a low heat until soft but not browned (approx 5 minutes). Add the nettles, cover and cook for another 5 minutes Add water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked Place in a food processor or push through a sieve until smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then reheat just before serving.

From: Journey Folki

Tomato and Lentil Quick Soup


  • One tin of chopped tomatoes
  • One tinful of water
  • Two handfuls of lentils


  • Add all the ingredients together in a pan and simmer.
  • Add flavours – salt and pepper, a teaspoon of mixed herbs, fresh basil and or a spoon of pesto. Or a teaspoon of curry powder. And/or paprika. Or a bit of marmite.
  • After about 15 mins simmering the lentils should be cooked.

One thing: when making lentil soup of any kind, it’s best to add salt after cooking the lentils, because otherwise they don’t seem to cook properly.

From: Journey Folki

Carrot Onion and Lemon Soup


  • One and a half pints of vegetable stock
  • 1 Carrot finely chopped
  • 1 Small onion finely chopped
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Sticks of celery chopped
  • Salt and pepper (a pinch of each)
  • A sprig of thyme


  • Add all this to a saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the scraped rind of a lemon (just the yellow part) to the soup, along with half the juice of a squeezed lemon.
  • Serve straight away with a garlic roll/stick.

From: Journey Folki

Healing Chicken Soup


  • Quarter of a chicken
  • 2 Pints water/vegetable stock
  • 1 Large leek
  • 1 Onion
  • Half a cup rice

How to:

First, boil the chicken for an hour on a very low heat with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken, then add the leek, onion and rice and boil for another 15 minutes.

The chicken meat can be chopped and added to the soup if you wish. This is guaranteed to get rid of a cold.

From: Journey Folki

Gypsy Style Turkey Soup with Dumplings


You can use your turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving dinner or even buy turkey drumsticks which are huge and very cheap. If you have any leftover sliced turkey meat add it after you’ve boiled the carcass and taken the meat off of the bones.

How to:

  • Boil the turkey carcass for about two hours,
  • Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Add herbs (your choice), preferably fresh.
  • Add some pearl barley after the first hour, just a handful or so.
  • Drain the liquid from the carcass and pick the meat off of the bones.
  • Now add the sliced meat (if you have some).
  • Add chopped carrots, and turnips to liquid.
  • Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Make dumplings.
  • Add them and cook for 30 minutes on stove.
  • Add sliced leeks and a handful of frozen peas.

Serve with a loaf of fresh white or brown bread.

Disclaimer: I found this recipe back in 2006 and didn’t make a note of where I found it. If you know the author, let me know so I can give credit and a link.



Mix ground beef or chopped ham with cooked rice, salt, black pepper and jalapeños (or similar hot peppers) into a thick paste. You may add an egg if it’s too thick. Take the biggest leaves from a cabbage making sure not to break or tear them; dip them in boiling water to soften them, then wrap each leaf around some of the filling mixture into a sealed roll. Secure by sewing or simply stick a toothpick through, and simmer for about an hour in tomato soup.

Found at: The Patrin Web Journal

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