Friday, November 15, 2013

Goulash Soup - Polish Style

Witamy!   The orange and yellow fall leaves are mostly down from their branches, and the temperatures have been dropping.  Today it’s just as cold in Warsaw as it is in Washington DC.  Laura and Peter have retrieved the heavier down comforter from the closet and are once again sleeping with the windows open.  Last night they were awakened by the neighborhood red fox barking and again by deer snorting their way through the back yard, on their way to a better feeding ground.  And so it’s time to turn our culinary attention to comfort food and the soups and stews that keep us warm and satisfied on a brisk, chilly day.  

Goulash Soup is a staple of many European cuisines and only varies by its spices and flavorings.  Peter prepared this rich and satisfying soup in a Polish style by using dill as a key flavoring.  In Hungary we might use sweet paprika.  In Spain we might add olives and use saffron or coriander.  In Italy we would probably flavor our soup with bay leaf, sage, rosemary or thyme.  But regardless of where in the world you live, or which cuisine you love best, you will never go wrong with dill.   

Serves 10,  OK to Freeze

  • 2 medium onions, shredded
  • 3 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 4 tablespoon fresh chopped dill (double if dried)
  • 2 pounds stew beef (sirloin is good) trimmed and cut into small, bite-sized cubes 
  • 8 cups beef stock or broth
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 can (14 ounce) whole tomatoes (save the juice)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 parsnips (or other root vegetable)  sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a soup pot (any 5 or 6 quart pot with a lid) sauté the onions in oil until golden, add the meat, cover with broth (about 1 ½ cups) water, salt & pepper.  Cover and simmer for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender.  Check the pot periodically to make the liquid has not evaporated.  Add the vegetables, half of the dill and the remaining broth.  (Note:  substitute the retained tomato juice for an equal amount of broth).  Cover and simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are just soft.  Adjust the seasonings.  Garnish with the rest of the fresh dill.  Serve hot with a slice of crusty dark bread and a glass of hearty red wine. 


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