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CPSU Member Recipe
THIS week’s recipe is from DPAC Delegate Diana Darcy and is called crocodile soup and, as you’d imagine, it comes with a back story.
We’d love you to share yours too. Simply email the recipe, why you love it and a photo to email@example.com . If we get enough, we hope to publish these at the end of the year.
See the recipe below.
Crocodile (Frikadel) Soup
From Department of Premier and Cabinet Delegate Diana Darcy
This makes a large family meal with leftovers, or can be halved, and is great served with salt and pepper and fresh bread with butter.
1kg of mince – any type but usually beef
1 large onion diced
3 large carrots diced
6 large potatoes cubed
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
3-4 litres of beef stock or 3 heaped teaspoons of powdered stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Add water onion, carrot and potato to a large pot and bring to boil. While waiting mix mince, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and salt and pepper and mould into 2cm diameter meatballs. When the water is boiling drop the meatballs in one at a time, ensuring the water stays on the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes with the lid on or until potatoes and carrots are well cooked. It can be eaten as is with salt and pepper or thickened by mashing a few of the potatoes or adding few tablespoons of breakfast delight.
“This soup recipe was handed down from my grandmother Emma who first made it in Riga, Latvia before World War Two. It’s called Frikadel Soup but it is fondly known in our family as Crocodile Soup as my siblings, cousins and I couldn’t pronounce the Latvian word Frikadel when we were little. It’s a family favourite my dad Arnold’s side of the family still make on a regular basis, and my kids love it.
It became a popular meal during WW2 when my dad, his siblings Valija and Zigrida, his parents and other family members left Latvia in 1944 by horse and cart. My grandfather Voldemars was visited by members of the German army and told that if he didn’t join the army he would be killed. He was a highly qualified butcher, smallgoods expert and meat inspector and didn’t want to join the army so fled in the middle of the night before the Germans returned the next day to collect him.
My dad remembers that mince was easy to come by at times, and my grandmother was creative when preparing food. Voldemar’s skills as a butcher came in handy during their tough journey across Europe as displaced refugees as he was able to catch wild game and Emma made the soup, using melted snow and any ingredients they could find, in make-shift kitchens, refuges and concentration camps, family barracks and abandoned houses in Germany, Poland and other European countries.
At one stage, when things were really bad and food and shelter were scarce, my dad remembers eating raw onions his father stole just to survive. He’s now 75 and says he’ll never forget this experience and how cold it was in Europe during winter, and often wonders how they survived. He feels very lucky to have been accepted by Australia as a refugee. They boarded the “Fair Sea” and arrived in Australia on January 1 1950 to start a new life. Dad and his family grew up and attended school on Bruny Island before moving to Bellerive. He also remembers, as a young boy being told that Australia was the ‘lucky country’!”