Yesterday's wicked weather demanded an equally extreme dish. Something rich, hot, savory and filling: a dish with which to thaw the husband after his trip down our bitterly windy block. Again, I haven't ventured past page 6 of the book, why mess with success - even if its decades old success? I wanted something bold in flavor and spicy enough to wake up our winter-dulled palates ... I could not have made a better choice.
Goulash Soup or Gulyas Leves (gu-yahsh le-vesh in Hungarian):
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. lean beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- pinch of Kosher salt
- generous grinding of fresh black pepper
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp. of caraway seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle or with the back of a spoon
- 1 1/2 tsp. good quality sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp. smoked, hot paprika
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups low-sodium beef stock or broth
- one 14.5 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
- 1 medium to large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large bay leaf
- pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 thick wedge of lemon
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- some cooked Csipetke (pinched noodles) - recipe to follow tomorrow
Add the diced potatoes to the soup, squeeze the juice from the wedge of lemon into the pot, stir and taste for seasoning. If needed you may add a bit more salt and pepper. Cover and allow the soup to simmer for 25 -30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked and the beef is fork tender. Once finished, the soup can be kept, covered, at a low simmer until needed. To serve, place some cooked csipetke in the bottom of a large soup bowl and ladle the goulash soup over the noodles. Garnish with some chopped parsley, serve and enjoy! As written this soup will serve approximately 5 - 6.
I've made several changes in the book's recipe. I upped the amount of paprika, added the smoked for heat and interest, and because I was craving something on the spicy side - I threw in a hefty pinch of cayenne pepper while the soup was simmering. Carrots were not included in the original recipe ... though I can't imagine why. I think they're essential, and I might even up the ante next time by adding some cubed yellow turnip to boot.
You can well imagine that I opted not to go with the lard, as suggested in the book. After I recovered from my faint, I went with the olive oil for sauteing instead. Good choice.
Another good choice was my decision to go all out and make the homemade noodles for the soup. I know, I can hear some of you groaning now ... no, you don't have to make the noodles ... but you should. They're well worth the effort and the effort is minimal. I'll tell you all about it ... tomorrow. For now, rest easy in the knowledge you could certainly serve the soup with some cooked barley or ditalini pasta - and, frankly, its good enough all on its own. Pair it with a snappy green salad, a crusty whole-grain loaf and a better winter meal I cannot imagine. I hope you'll try it!
P.S. - Edited to add that I'm submitting this soup to the always wonderful Souper Sundays event on Kahakai Kitchen. Be sure to stop by Deb's terrific blog for a taste of the best soups from around the web each and every Sunday!