Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goulash Soup

It's been a while since I've posted, but that's because a few exciting changes have happened since I blogged last. I was offered a job at an agency in Boston and moved up here last week! But now, my kitchen stuff is unpacked, I'm settled into my new job, and figuring my way around my new kitchen.

So my days of freelancing and idling around my apartment cooking up tasty treats have come to close, but now that I'm adjusting to life entirely on my own (it's the first time I've ever lived in an apartment by myself), I think there will be lots of alone time for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.

Since it's been seriously cold outside (27 degrees today when I checked around 4pm), I've been wanting to christen the stove by cooking up a big pot of soup. So, I put on this Scion sampler I've had lying around for a few years (found it in the trash at my last full time job) and got to work preparing one of my favourite stand-by recipes, Hungarian Goulash soup.

I think this recipe originally came from watching a Food Network episode years and years ago where they'd visit some expert and get her family recipe. Since there are about as many versions of Goulash Soup as there are Hungarians, it should come with the disclaimer that I'm not Hungarian. In fact, I have scrawled in an old journal the goulash soup recipe told to me by our Hungarian family friend, Dodie, but I've actually never tried to prepare her version. Here's mine.

Goulash Soup

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tbsp butter
flour, for dredging beef
1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1" pieces
pinch of caraway seeds
1 carrot, diced (optional, I threw this in tonight because I had some carrots on hand)
1 potato, diced
1 Italian bell pepper, diced
4 - 6 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato paste

Cut beef into 1" pieces and dredge lightly in flour.

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent, then add paprika. Cook paprika for a few minutes, adding butter, until paprika is well incorporated into onions.

Add beef, followed by caraway seeds, and brown the meat on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Add carrot, potato, and bell pepper, followed by the beef stock, bay leaf and tomato paste.

Simmer for at least an hour, preferably 2, over low heat. The lower the heat and the longer you can cook, the more tender the meat.

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