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28.2.12

HUNGARIAN RAGU SOUP - HUNGARIAN RAGULEVES


Starts as a ragu and ends as a soup. My grandmother called it raguleves, also known as becsinált leves. Designed to use up gizzards, backs and necks of the chicken with the skin attached. Herein lays my problem. I only eat crispy chicken skin. Since the skin slips off thighs easily, I make my raguleves from chicken thighs. A variation of raguleves is milk soup. All is very flavourful and satisfying.

3 Tbsp olive oil
3 chicken thighs
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, diced
salt and pepper to taste
3 carrots, chopped
2 parsnip, chopped
1/2 celery root, chopped
2 sprigs of celery leaves
1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 sprigs of parsley
1 heaping Tbsp flour
2 pinch Hungarian paprika
6 cups of cold water
ground pepper to taste

• Heat the olive oil in a large pot.
• Turn heat down to medium and add the chicken thighs.
• Add the chopped onions and the garlic.
• Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
• Keep stirring and sauté for 5 minutes. There will be some brown bits in the bottom of the pot, from the meat, but its all good.
• Begin to add the chopped vegetables, lightly salting them as you add them to the pot.
• Keep stirring after each addition.
• Add the flour and the Hungarian paprika and stir.
• Add the cold water.
• Bring soup to a very slow simmer.
• Maintain the slow simmer; do not let soup come to rolling boil. Do not cover pot.
• Cook until meat is soft.
• Adjust the salt and the ground pepper and serve.



5 comments:

  1. Oh, Zsuzsa! I learned to make this wonderful soup from my grandmother, and my mom, since I was just a young girl...not even a teenager! The most comforting, and delicious soup that Hungarians make. When my kids were little, I used to make it once a week...oh yes! Ragu leves!
    I've forgotten what it's called since I haven't made the soup for years, now!

    Lovely presentation...as well:DDD

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  2. Of all the Hungarian soups I've had in my life, this one is my favorite next to Bableves. It's so hearty and filling it is a meal within itself.
    I've always made it with the addition of liver dumplings.

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  3. Elisabeth this was the only recipe my grandmother wrote down for me in one of her rare letters after I immigrated to Canada.

    Cassie yes, I used to make liver dumplings from chicken gizzards; I really must put the recipe on the blog. I stopped cooking liver a few years ago, something about liver being high in cholesterol. Oh but it’s delicious…. and so is breaded calf liver and piritott maj!

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  4. Zsuzsa, my wife and I used to enjoy ragu leves in a small Hungarian restaurant in Toronto (if we happened to be there on the night that they made it). We searched for the recipe, but could never find it, until now! But the restaurant version was of a more pale colour so I'm thinking that it's the milk soup version. Can you tell me what the changes are for the milk soup?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pale colour may have just meant they used a tiny amount of paprika, or that the paprika they used was old or not authentic Hungarian paprika. If it was milk soup you would have had to taste the milk, it alters the flavour more than the color. I have a milk soup recipe. Click on the cookbook, look for soup and there you will find the milk soup recipe.

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