A Bowl of Comfort: Slovak Soups & Stews

Part cookbook and part travelogue, A Bowl of Comfort opens the door to a little known country. With cultural stories, delicious recipes, and in-depth information on traditional cooking practices, this book will take you on a tour of Slovakia without stepping on a plane.

Prices are in US dollars. VAT will be added for EU residents.


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Slovak Food

Originally a farming culture, Slovak food had to be simple to prepare, as survival depended on working in the fields. It also had to be nourishing and filling, to provide fuel for a hard working person. And, of course, it had to be tasty, so that everyone would eat it. 

Slovak food is what I call grandmother cooking - simple, delicious, and homey. Comfort food. 

Soups are the overlooked backbone of the Slovak kitchen. Every lunch, which is also the main meal, starts with a brothy soup. Hearty soups and stews are also a staple, an easy way to feed a family or a crowd. 

All recipes have gluten-free alternatives. Most of the flour in the book is simply to thicken soups, which is easily done with other gluten-free thickeners. Included is a chart for easy gluten-free adaptation.

About the Author

I'm Naomi, the creator of the blog Almost Bananas, where I share about life in Slovakia as well as real food recipes.

Originally from Canada, I've lived in Slovakia for over a decade. Why is a Canadian sharing about Slovak food? Coming from another country gave me fresh eyes to see the uniqueness of Slovak culture, one that they often take for granted themselves. After I've written an article about some aspect of Slovak life, friends remark that they didn't realize there was anything special; it was just normal.  

I've always enjoyed spending time in the kitchen (or maybe just eating) and have cooked for others from a young age. As a mom to four kids (including twins), however, my kitchen philosophy has evolved. 

I want to provide my family with nourishing real food, but I've got other things to do than spend all day in the kitchen. So, I've become a no-fuss kind of cook. Soups and stews are my go to meals, as all the ingredients can be thrown into a pot that bubbles away to create a bowl full of comfort. 

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Food and Connection

For me, food is one of the great connectors, joining people across cultures, across time, and across the table.

Travel, even if only through the pages of a book, connects us to people and cultures that are different from our own, with a different mindset, history, and habits. Sometimes we'll never understand it fully, but we can appreciate the differences when we are no longer afraid of it. Food is certainly the tastiest way to sample a culture, that can be done even without the ability to physically travel. 

Through traditional recipes, we can connect to those in the past. As we sample foods that have been made for years, we create a taste connection across time to those who cooked this food on a daily basis. Even better, many of their practical cooking practices have turned out to be beneficial for us, such as fermenting veggies and making bone broth. 

As our world is ever more online, food also provides a medium to connect to people in our lives, building relationships and memories as we share a meal. The figurative table has always been a part of gatherings and celebrations, where people come together. 

For many people with Slovak heritage, this book is a way to connect to a culture and place that is difficult to access without the language. 

A Bowl of Comfort connects you to the Slovak culture and people, to traditional recipes and methods of food preparation, and will hopefully be a part of meals you share with loved ones. 

What's in the book?

  • in-depth information on why bone broth is good for you, as well as tips on where to find bones and instructions on how to make it
  • a peak into Slovak traditions such as goulash cookouts, sheep farms, and weekly food rituals
  • descriptions of traditional cooking practices like preserving food, eating offal, and making curds and whey
  • a chapter that goes over some basics, like hard to find ingredients, 3 dumpling recipes, and how to make sure every recipes is gluten-free
  • 12 brothy soup recipes, some of which can be adapted to be a full meal
  • 10 hearty soup and stew recipes
  • mouthwatering photos

Frequently asked questions

1. Is this a physical book? This is an ebook, meaning that you will get a digital file to read on any device, from computer to tablet to reader to phone. Nice and easy to carry with you wherever you go.

2. Can I read this on my Kindle? Yes, you can send it to your kindle email. More information on Amazon. 

3. Can I send this book to friends and family? I'm so glad that you enjoy the book enough to send it on. However, the copy you have is for you and your devices. Please purchase another copy as a gift. 

4. Can I get a refund? If you are not satisfied, email naomi@almostbananas.com within 14 days and I will send your money back. 

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A Bowl of Comfort: Slovak Soups & Stews

Prices are in US dollars. VAT will be added for EU residents.