MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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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.

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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!

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