Friday, 31 December 2010

Paprika Soup

One last post for 2010! I will go out on a slightly more healthy note than has prevailed for most of this month. The bad news is that unless you have dried your own paprika this summer, it will be a little difficult to reproduce this. But it can be done, I'm sure. Did you roast and freeze any peppers this summer? They would work well, or possibly you can find some greenhouse-grown red bell peppers which would be an acceptable alternative along with a hit of purchased ground paprika.

I added no other seasonings (besides a little vinegar and sugar to give some sweet-sour dimension) because my home-dried paprika was so rich and fabulous tasting. If you are using less interesting peppers, you might want to add a small handful of dried tomatoes to the vegetables as they cook, to give it another dimension, or add a little smoked paprika, spicy or mild, if you have it.

8 to 12 servings
1 hour prep time

Paprika Soup
500 grams (1 pound) potatoes
500 grams (1 pound) rutabaga
500 grams (1 pound) celeriac
8 cups chicken stock
50 grams (2 ounces) dried paprika
OR 1 large red pepper, roasted
AND 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups light cream

Peel the vegetables and cut them into 1 cm thick slices. Put them in a large pot with the chicken stock and the dried or roasted paprika (pepper). Bring to a boil, and boil for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Let the mixture cool enough to handle, then run it through a food processor or blender until quite smooth. You may need to stop and scrape it down occasionally. The soup can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated, then finished later.

To serve the soup, bring it up to a boil. Taste it and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cream and heat until it is hot through, but not quite boiling. Serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Rum & Raisin Sweet Potatoes and Baked Onions.


Tillsonburgarian said...

Hi Ferdzy, is there a reason as to why real Hungarian Paprika wouldn’t work. It has absolutely amazing rich taste. Did you cook with it before? I have seen them being dried when I visited Hungary and it was a sight to behold. Myself, I wouldn’t touch a supermarket paprika with a 10 foot pole.

Happy New Year!

Ferdzy said...

Jerry, I always use Hungarian paprika (or Spanish paprika, especially the smoked ones which are very good) if I am buying it. I agree, there is no point in buying anything sold as "paprika" without a description of what kind of paprika, from where.

However, I grew a Hungarian-type paprika this summer and dried it myself and it's REALLY amazing stuff. Since it was never ground up before I threw it in the pot, the freshness and strength of flavour was fabulous. But yes, a good Hungarian paprika will be the next-best thing to homegrown.

Man, I would so love to go to Hungary. There's a lot of good food out of that place...

Tillsonburgarian said...

Indeed, there is a lot of good food in Hungary. However, did you know that Hungarians have shortest life span in Europe? Yup, too much of a good thing. Smallest container of sour cream I sew there was 1L. It is used so liberally! I am from Czech Republic (got out in1968 when I was 23, damned Russians) so our cuisines have been mixed and remixed for over 300 years. I am thrilled to learn that you do not have to grind paprika to have a good taste. I always thought that finer the better. So many thanks for the simple tip!
BTW, yesterday morning I threw out about 100 red peppers that were very close to being dry because they didn’t crumble in my hand. I just harvested them at their prime and strung them out on a rope just like they do in Hungary. Man, what a horrible waste! Thanks millions for the tip. BTW, got my Johnny’s seeds, no duty, no tax. Tomorrow I am laying out the garden on a paper and start dreaming.

Tillsonburgarian said...

Ferdzy, check my recipe for paprika chicken. Better yet, cook it. It is so obscenely good it should be illegal.
Happy New Year. It's getting close!

Ferdzy said...

Excellent abut getting the seeds, Jerry. I'm going to try ordering some flower seeds from the U.S. and see how it goes.

That is absolutely tragic about your paprika. Mine is dry enough I'm sure I can grind it and I intend to try. But I figured it should re-constitute like dried tomatoes, and it did. Sometimes not knowing "the rules" is a good thing! (Other times, not so much.)

By the way, if your are going to dry vegetables in this country I recommend getting a good electric dryer. There are too many things that get harvested just as the weather turns cool and damp.

I was going to say I make paprika chicken pretty often, and my recipe is not too different from yours. However, I see the last chicken dish I made was a year and a half ago! And I have not posted my recipe; I thought I had. I will have to remedy that.

Your blog is looking good! Some good eating in Tillsonburg too, by the looks of things. Those boiled dumplings look very interesting to me.

Tillsonburgarian said...

Thank you for the compliment. I started my blog only 2 months ago so I am a real newbie. I have just posted a blog on bread dumplings for you. They are so perfect with saucy dishes!
BTW, I really enjoy your posts and I have your link on my blog.

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, Jerry. I'll give them a try at some point. Not right away... it's time to go on a diet. Ugh.

Tillsonburgarian said...

Thanks Ferdzyfor your comment. You just gave me a great idea to start our diet with Italian bread soup! Now, that's a frugal way to use bread! Lots of leftover baguettes.
Rebollita tomorrow! I'll blog it.