Every Hungarian should be well acquainted with köménymag leves. This was the dreaded soup while I was growing up, perhaps even more despised than rántott leves. Memories flooded me as I was preparing it and most of it was sad. My dad periodically lived on this soup for nearly three decades. Apa suffered from stomach ulcer before it could be cured with antibiotics. I remember him working in his laboratory, half doubled over in pain, my mother stirring the little pot for him in the kitchen. Sometimes he could only eat caraway soup; everything else would flare up his ulcer. Made with water, not with stock and there was no paprika or croutons to flavour it. Most Hungarians ate this soup when there was nothing else to put on the table. We have been married for nearly 45 years and this was the first time I made it. Making this soup was a spur of the moment decision, in other ways… a momentous occasion. Will I make it again? Maybe I will, my grownup tastes found it surprisingly tasty with croutons.

2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp Hungarian paprika
salt to taste
4 cups chicken stock
croutons to serve

• Place oil in a medium Dutch pot and add the caraway seeds.
• Sauté caraway seeds for one minute on low medium heat.
• Add the flour and keep stirring until flour begins to get a golden color.
• Remove from heat and add the paprika.
• Gradually add the chicken stock and keep stirring until flour is well blended with the stock.
• Taste it and adjust the salt. [the stock would have salt in it already]
• Bring soup to slow simmer and slowly simmer for 3-4 minutes.
• Remove from heat and cover pot. Let soup rest for 5 minutes.
• Serve piping hot with croutons.

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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!