This was definitely one of those Must Make Again recipes. I’ve been making Hungarian Mushroom Soup (from the Moosewood cookbook) for years, but for some reason this week I decided to try a recipe for “goulash soup” from Barbara Kafka’s soup cookbook, which turned out to be vaguely similar – it has paprika and onions as the flavor base – but is very much its own thing. I didn’t follow the recipe slavishly, but I more or less kept to the ingredient list, and it was incredible. It didn’t hurt that the stew beef I used was from our latest quarter-cow from Skagit Angus, tender and really beefy-flavored.
The original recipe called for coating the beef in flour before frying it, which I didn’t feel like doing. I thought about making a roux separately to thicken the soup, but it turned out not to be necessary – the texture of the broth was thick and silky.
Hungarian Goulash Soup
adapted from Soup: A Way of Life by Barbara Kafka
- 1 pound stew beef
- kosher salt, maybe a tsp?
- a couple spoonfuls of canola oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika and 2 tsp regular paprika
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 small yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
- about 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp caraway seed
- around a cup of dried egg noodles
- sour cream
I salted the beef, then seared it in a soup pot in two batches with canola oil at high heat, then set it aside.
In the same pan, I added the butter, turned the heat to medium and sauteed the onion. Once it softened I added the paprika, then put the meat back in, mixed it all up, and added the stock. I brought it to a simmer, covered the pot, turned the heat to low and let it cook for an hour.
At this point I added the potato, garlic and bell pepper, recovered the pan and cooked for another fifteen minutes or so. Then I uncovered, added the caraway seeds and tomato plus some water to rinse out the can, brought the soup back to a simmer, and added the pasta. Once the noodles were done, I checked for seasoning, added a little salt, and served with sour cream.