Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Keeping with my soup kick, I next tried this Hungarian Mushroom Soup recipe. I like mushrooms more than I like broccoli, but still don’t incorporate them into my diet as much as I’d like so whipping up a big batch of soup to freeze makes it quick and easy. I’ll admit that I’m starting to crave the Loaded Baked Potato Soup I made last Spring and am having to hold myself back: I’m trying very hard to get my old climbing physique back after a semester of balancing work with classes put pudge on places it’s never been before. We’ll ignore, for the moment, that I cannot afford an indoor climbing pass this winter and thus cannot get a “climber’s physique” exactly, but I’m shooting for as close as I can get between the gym, yoga, and absolutely killer Tracy Anderson muscle routines (Hollywood froofroo or no, this gal makes some serious exercises!).

 

Hungarian Mushroom Soup (adapted from Eating Well, February 2011)

Ingredients:

1   T   EVOO

1½   lb   mushrooms, thinly sliced

1   medium onion, diced

3   T   AP flour

2   T   paprika, preferably Hungarian *

2   T   dried dill

4   C   mushroom or reduced-sodium beef broth

1   C   water

1   C   Half & Half

1½   lbs   russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” pieces

¾   t   salt

reduced-fat sour cream for garnish as desired

* Note: source recipe describes Hungarian paprika as having a “fuller, richer flavor than regular paprika”. I was looking forward to finding and using the authentic spice, but was out of luck. Is anyone familiar with Hungarian paprika and can attest to its superiority?


Procedure:

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed sauce pan over Medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates (10 – 15 minutes). I cheated and drained the liquid off after there was still a substantial amount 15 minutes in.
  2. Reduce heat to Medium and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 more minutes or until the mushrooms are very soft. Then add flour, paprika, and dill and cook – still stirring – for about 15 seconds before pouring in the broth, water, and Half & Half. Add potatoes, cover, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a “lively simmer” and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender (about 5 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in salt. For a thicker, creamier soup use an immersion blender at this point (or blend batches in an upright blender) to cream about half of the veggies leaving a good number of chunks still whole.
  5. As soup is served add a dollop of sour cream on top for garnish if desired.


Beezer’s Notes:

I’m not entirely sure what makes this soup “Hungarian” besides the use of Hungarian paparika (if you can get your hands on some) and the very generous dose of dill, but it has a great flavor unlike any other cream of mushroom soups I’ve had before. There’s a subtle smokiness which must be the paprika and the mushrooms really shine with the dill and potato combo.

I used a mixture of three different kinds of mushrooms. I figured different kinds will add a depth of flavor no matter what the mix and, luckily, they were delicious! Munching on slices of all three – crimini, white, and shiitake – during prep, I discovered I liked the lighter but firmer taste of the raw shittake mushrooms the best and preferred the stronger flavor of crimini over white even though the two are very similar.

What kind of mushrooms do you like the best and why? Are some better for soups than others? I know shiitake and enoki are commonly used in soups, especially in Japan. Portobellos are a great meat substitute and white button ‘shrooms are the fungi of choice for American pizzas…but that’s about it. Any advice?

Overall Enjoyment: ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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3 Comments

  1. joannapingky

     /  February 7, 2011

    Hi beezer, your hungarian mushroom soup post is really one particular of the most beneficial substance that :-bd. glad to meet you… Thanks…,Best!!! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Good recipe ~ there are a few things that I would add to ‘kick it up a notch’ :
    — a tablespoon of tomato paste after you add flour, paprika, and dill, then cook;
    — get some dried mushrooms to add your fresh mushrooms; soak them for a few hours in the beef broth and use the broth for an added depth of flavor (the dried mushrooms are also what Hungarians used, in addition to the paprika — my Dad used to pick them and dry them for the winter)
    — add some fresh dill along with the dried dill — combining fresh and dried herbs make for a subtle layering of flavors
    — get some nutritional yeast at the co-op and add about a tablespoon
    — Finally, but not least, this recipe cries out for a finishing shot of sherry; I would recommend cream sherry, but if this is too sweet for you, try the golden or dry sherry — Wicked good!)
    — Let me know if you try this and I hope you like it!

    Reply
    • wow, great ideas! i really have no experience with Hungarian food/cooking so i will definitely be trying your recommendations next time. i’ll let you know how it turns out. thanks! 🙂

      Reply

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