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28.8.12

ALFÖLD MILK SOUP - ALFÖLDI TEJLEVES


This is not your usual sweet and bland milk soup. The first time I had this I found it odd, why is there milk in this soup? It was my dad who quietly told me that the big middle aged lady who served the two of us on a hokedli in her courtyard was from the Alföld. She cooked for dad’s second cousin who went there for his midday meals between his morning and afternoon classes. Ernő was the teacher of the village. Of course this didn’t mean anything to me at the time, later I figured out that alföldi people put milk into a lot of dishes. When Jim retired and started eating his midday soup, I recreated it from memory. There is no such recipe in my cookbooks and I just checked it, there is nothing like this on the Internet either. While saluting the friendly stranger who first served this to me and my dad, in a way this has become my soup now. I make it sometimes out of nostalgia, besides it’s rather nice with its mild but complex favours. I like it how the paprika grease droplets float among the milk. [The lady had huge red droplets though] This is best in summer when the kohlrabi is young and tender.

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 parsnip, diced
small wedge of celery root, diced
2 small very young kohlrabies, diced
1 to1-1/2 cups homemade soup stock [chicken or pork]
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 cup commercial spatzle or 1 cup nokedli cooked, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup freshly diced flat leaf parsley
2-3 cups whole milk as needed [Do not use leaner than 1% milk]

• If you do not have commercial spatzle or a bit of leftover nokedli, make the nokedli from 1 egg first. Rinse and drain and then add to a bowl and stir in 1 tsp of oil so the nokedli don’t stick together. Then set it aside.

• Next peel, wash and dice all the vegetables.
• Very slowly sauté the chopped onions in oil in a medium Dutch pot until soft.
• Starting with the carrots, begin to add the vegetables to the pot.
• Lightly salt and stir with each addition.
• Begin to add the soup stock as needed and keep sautéing the vegetables until soft.
• If you use commercial spatzle, cook that in a small pot of water now. Drain, rinse and set it aside.
• When the vegetables are soft, add the Hungarian paprika and stir it in.
• Continue the slow cooking until the stock is reduced to almost nothing.
• Then stir in the cooked spatzle or nokedli and the frozen peas and heat through.
• Add the milk, stir and warm up the soup. Do NOT let the soup boil once the milk is added.

5 comments:

  1. What an interesting soup, and as suspected I've not heard of it before. Both my parents were born and raised in Budapest (Pest side) and Mom had relatives in Oroszlány. It does look like an interesting soup, and I may have to try it as the days

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  2. It sounds like one of the rare jewels of unknown, very private recipes. I'm not surprised really at the presence of milk because I often add a dash milk at the end to my mushroom soup (I think I have posted it some time ago). It gives a surprisingly good result even for people who, like me, never drink milk and don't like it on its own. On the other hand it sounds like a lot of milk here! A very intriguing soup indeed.

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  3. I love this; maybe the memories have something to do with it. My husband is less enthused, for him it’s too weird. So I won't make this again for a year. I have a heart. The original milk soup is a sweet concoction, but I am not interested in it, I never had it as a kid.

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  4. Zsuzsa, sweetened milk soup brings awful childhood memories... When I was small children were served it in many homes for breakfast (with rice or pasta or something similar to csipetke). I have always hated milk, so my mum never did it because she had hated it herself as a child (now mosty people know that cow milk is not the best calcium source for all children, but then my mum was an exception in her refusal to force me to drink milk), but I had a "pleasure" to be served it when staying at cousins' house...

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  5. I never actually had any of those sweet soups I found on the Internet. I had something similar with rice and we used to sprinkle it with sweetened cocoa, but this wasn't a soup. I love milk though. My morning espresso I am drinking as I write is 3/4 milk. But I can relate to not liking something. Luckily I was never forced to eat slimy carp either. Indeed I never had any fish until I was introduced to fresh sockeye in Prince Rupert.

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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