Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tomato Soup

  • 1 onion, peeled
  • one celery stalk
  • 1 can of tomato paste or can of tomato juice
  • 7-9 cups of water, salt, sugar
  • flour
  • one egg or some rice
  • 2-3 peeled carrots
  • 2 tablespoons oil
Boil the onion in salter water with the celery stalk and carrots. Dilute the tomato paste and add it to the soup pot. When the onion and carrots are soft, make the roux (saute flour in oil until a soft reddish brown, add paprika and dilute with a bit of water before adding to soup) adding a two pinches of sugar to the flour this time. You can boil washed rice into it, 1 tablespoonful per serving.
If you are making dumplings instead of the rice, scramble the egg with half a teaspoon of oil, a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of cold water, add enough flour to make a stiffer dough. Never use 'self-rise' flour for this process.
Dip a soup spoon into the boiling soup and drop in the dumpling dough bit by bit. If necessary, season with more salt, sugar, or vegeta to taste. Boil everything together for ten minutes, occasionally stirring to keep the rice or dumplings from sticking to the bottom of the pot or to each other.
This soup's taste is really determined by the combination of tomato, cellery, and flour. For this reason these ingredients should not be substituted.

Mushroom Potato Soup

  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 4-5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • stronger dried or fresh mushrooms (agaricus campestris ), rinsed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 7-9 cups of water, salt
  • sweet Hungarian paprika
  • parsley or bay leaves
Boil the onion, potatoes, and mushrooms in a gently salted pot of water. Prepare the roux (saute flour in oil until a soft reddish brown, add paprika and dilute with a bit of water before adding to soup). Toss in parsley and boil for a few more minutes before serving.

If it is made with bay leaves, add smoked sausages or sauteed chopped bacon and boil for 8 to 10 minutes. In either case, vinegar can be added before serving.

Cheesy Potato Soup

  • 1 onion
  • 7-9 cups of water
  • 5-6 potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • salt
  • 1 package of cheese appropriate for melting, sharp mingles well with the flavors
  • chopped smoked bacon
  • sweet Hungarian paprika
Boil the cleaned, peeled, and cubed potatoes in the water with the peeled whole onion, and if preferred, one to two peeled carrots, with some salt until soft. Add roux and boil heavily before adding the cheese. Meanwhile, saute the chopped bacon in a separate pan, sprinkle with paprika, and add to the rest of the soup.

Sour Potato Soups

Whether potato soup is 'sour' is determined by the optional use of bay leaves or tarragon. They can be made with or without meat.

  • Pork or beef the size of the fist cut into small cubes
  • 5-6 medium sized potato
  • 2-3 full carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 7-9 cups of water, salt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons or a little less of flour
  • a pinch of sugar
  • sweet Hungarian paprika
  • vinegar, or vegeta according to taste

Cover the cubed meat and peeled carrots in just enough water to cover. Add salt and boil until te meat is soft. Add the rest of the water. Toss in the cubed potatoes and boil together until the potatoes are soft as w ell. Make roux as described before but this time add sugar to the flour (saute flour in hot oil until light reddish brown, remove from heat, add paprika and little bit of water, mix well and add to soup). Be careful to keep a constant watch on the roux, the addition of sugar speeds up the process, it must be stirred constantly. Remove the roux when ready and add 1 teaspoon of paprika, dilute with cold water and mix, add to soup. At this point, you can add the bay leaves or tarragon. Boil together for 8-10 minutes.

Optional: Add some vinegar before serving. It adds a pleasant tang. Also, 2-3 tablespoons of milk poured into the soup before serving emphasize the taste of the potatoes very well.

"A very thrifty and filling soup. To follow as a second course, a meatless casserolle, something with breadcrumbs, or crepes fit well."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Potato Soup

  • 5-6 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • salt to taste
  • 7-9 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil for the roux
  • 2 tablespoons flour, for the roux
  • If available, 1 sweet red pepper, cut into slices
  • Parsley
  • Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • Smoked Hungarian bacon (optional)
Boil washed, peeled, and cubed potatoes with the whole onion and red pepper slices, if available. Salt its water. When the potato is softened, the roux can be started. Saute the flour in the oil, until it is an even reddish brown. Remove the pan from the fire and add a half a teaspoon of paprika. Water it down with a cup of cold water and mix thoroughly before adding to the rest of the soup. Sprinkle chopped parsley on the cooked soup.

If using bacon, saute chopped pieces separately and add to the soup when all other steps are completed.

Orphaned Noodle Soup

  • 1 whole, peeled onion
  • parsley
  • celery greens
  • 2-3 slices of thick bacon
  • 2-3 carrots
  • salt to taste
  • thick soup noodle
  • oil
  • 7-9 cups of water
  • sweet Hungarian paprika
On the larger sections of a grater, grate all the carrots. Heat one tablespoon of oil and saute the grated carrots until softened and add all the water. Drop in the whole onion and salt to taste. Tie together a handful of parsley and celery greens with a string and toss in with the rest of the soup. When the onion is soft, chop the bacon into tiny pieces and saute it in a pan. Add a half a chopped onion to the bacon and bacon fat. Stir constantly to avoid any burning. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of paprika into the pan, stir in a half a cup of water and add everything to the soup pot.

Cook 2 to 3 handfuls of noodles to the pot. Remove the parsley and celery greens and sprinkle fresh chopped celery on the top of the soup. Make sure you taste and add more salt or other seasoning if needed. *

*A family favorite for back-up-do-it-all seasoning is Vegeta, found in most grocery stores and specialty European shops.

A More Sophisticated Girl's Caraway Seed Soup

My mom named the soup as such based on when she first began to prepare it. In the book of recipes she gave me she says: This is a very tasty soup. The parsley, caraway seed, and cream of wheat flavors mingle and determine its final flavor. At home, in Esztelnek, I made this in my big girl years. You kids favored the flour dumplings far too much and so I never made this version, but it is very delicious.

  • 1-2 tablespoons of oil for the roux
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 8-10 cups water
  • 1 onion, peeled, un-chopped
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • egg
  • cream of wheat
  • parsley
Boil the onion in the water. Meanwhile, extract the essence of the caraway seed by boiling it in a cup of water and add into the pot with the onion, keeping the seeds out of it. When the onion is soft, make the roux by sauteing the flour in the oil until it is evenly a light reddish brown. Remove the pan from the stove and add the half a teaspoon of paprika to the roux. Water the roux down with a half a cup of cold water and thoroughly mix to eliminate all lumps. Add to soup.

To make the cream of wheat dumplings, scramble the egg with 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of water and a dash of salt. Stir on very finely chopped parsley. Add as much cream of wheat as it can take. With wet hands, form dumplings and add to boiling soup.

The soup is ready when the dumplings float to the top. Toss the remaining parsley on top of the soup and serve.

If your egg is too cold, the cream of wheat dumplings will be flaky when dropped in the hot soup and likely fall apart. If the egg is take out from the fridge at the beginning of the cooking process, this can easily be avoided.