Friday, October 14, 2016

Hungarian Chicken Soup

I am staying with a friend in Europe instead of being in a hotel, so luckily I also get to cook. Today I decided that the most nourishing I could do was to make myself some soup. Yesterday, I bought two Roasted Chickens at the Grocery store, as I was too tired to cook and the Chickens were cooked with a coating of Paprika.  We ate a lot of the Chicken for dinner with a Salad, but I ended up having just enough meat left over today to make a Chicken Salad for lunch and Soup for dinner.  I had already taken all the meat off the bones when I served it and refrigerated them to get ready for soup. This morning, I threw all the bones in a big pot with an Onion, a large Carrot and a large Celery Stalk with enough Water to make stock. I do this almost every time I buy a Roast Chicken but usually I make a stock that I have to add Bouillon to or I also add some canned Chicken Broth to make enough for a pot of soup. This time I had enough bones for a big pot of soup and I refrigerated the stock after it cooled off until I was ready to use it later in the day. I personally love the smell of Chicken Broth cooking on the stove and later can’t wait to make soup our of it. 

Because the Chicken skin had so much Paprika on it, the stock already had the flavor of Hungarian food, so I decided to go fully into making a Hungarian style soup. What I did was to make a mixture called Lecs├│s – a combination of Peppers with Onion and Garlic, Tomatoes and Paprika, which became the flavor base that I added to the Stock. I used an Orange Pepper as I find them really sweet when cooked and they are also a beautiful color. Then I added in some Carrots, Celery and Cabbage and some Potatoes. I also felt like dumplings should be in this soup so I boiled up some chewy Gluten Free Gnochi and added that in too. It was the perfect Fall Soup!  It was rich in flavor with lots of different textures from the ingredients. I loved it and will be happy to eat it again tomorrow!

Hungarian Chicken Soup

2 Tablespoons Butter or Oil
1 large Orange or Red Pepper
1 large Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 large Tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 – 3 Tablespoons Hungarian Paprika
8 cups of Chicken Stock (see recipe below) or canned Chicken Broth
2 Carrots, trimmed, peeled and chopped into small pieces or coins if narrow
2 Celery Stalks, trimmed and chopped into small pieces
4 – 5 cups chopped Cabbage
2 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cups Leftover Chicken Meat cut up or 2 Chicken Breasts cut into small pieces
fresh ground Pepper to taste

Optional:  2 cups cooked Gnocchi (I used a Gluten Free Brand)

Pour the Chicken Stock or Broth into Soup Pot and heat until boiling. In a large frying pan, melt the Butter and add in the Onion, Garlic, Peppers, Carrots and Celery. Cook until the Onion and Peppers soften. Then add in the Tomato pieces, Tomato Paste and Paprika and stir to combine.  Add to the Chicken Stock. Then add in the Potatoes.

Return to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Add the Cabbage and Chicken an cook for an additional 10 minutes. To serve, spoon some precooked Gnocchi into the bowl and then ladle the soup on top.  Sprinkle with fresh ground Pepper to serve.

Roast Chicken Bone Stock

Bones and leftover Skin from two Roast Chickens
9 cups of Water
1 Onion, 1 Carrots, 1 stalk Celery or a chunk of Celery Root
1 Tablespoon of Salt

Place Bones and Skin into a soup pot. Add the Water and Salt and then the Onion, Carrot and Celery. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Cool and then strain broth, discarding the bones and vegetables and refrigerate until ready to use.

Five Element Analysis

Soup is a Water Element food so that Element is automatically covered. The Chicken and Chicken Broth contribute the Wood Element and the Celery in both the stock and soup add even more. The Peppers, Paprika and Tomatoes make sure the Fire Element has a presence and the Potatoes and Cabbage contribute the  Earth Element.  The Onions and Garlic round off the Five Elements and makes this a very balanced soup!

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