The starter is always soup. Good soup. Instead of bowls, Hungarian soup is served in “soup plates” that look like large pasta bowls. There are various types of soups, loaded with robust flavour or creamy or delicate featuring a single vegetable. Such as this one. Use good quality, homemade meat stock. Not replaceable with vegetable stock, use water instead. Be sure to reduce the water to four cups or increase the asparagus. Too much water, meat scraps or wilting greens make for lame soup. If you clean fridge or freezer don’t make soup from it. The bouillon cube or flavour packet is not your friend. Slow simmer; never boil soup.  

6 cups chicken broth
1 pkg. fresh asparagus
Salt and ground pepper

• Wash the asparagus.
• Snip off the woody ends.
• Set aside the tender asparagus tips for use later.
• Place the woody ends and the chicken broth in a pressure cooker.*
• Pressure cook for 20 minutes.
• Remove pressure cooker to the sink.
• Open only when pressure gauge is deflated.
• Pour most of the stock through a sieve into a clean soup pot.
• Puree the remainder in a blender and pass it through a sieve squeezing out all the juices.
• Discard the stringy parts.
• Cut the reserved asparagus stalks into 1 inch pieces.
• Add to the pot.
• Bring to simmer and slowly simmer until asparagus is tender.
• Make soup dumplings from one lightly beaten egg, flour, salt and water.
• Spoon the dumpling batter into the simmering soup.
• Slowly cook until dumplings have floated to the surface.
• Cover the pot and remove from heat to steep for 10 minutes before serving.

* Without pressure cooker the woody ends should be slowly simmered in 3 cups of water for a couple of hours. Puree and put it through a sieve before adding it to the chicken stock.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!