Hungarian Mushroom Soup

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In the HER house, my dear friend, Denali, made Hungarian Mushroom Soup more times than I can count. “Growing up with a Hungarian grandma and half Hungarian mother,” she says, “I consumed a great deal of sour cream and paprika.” This soup is no exception, and it’s vegetarian. “It’s a nostalgic meal for me,” Denali continues. “It evokes memories both of my grandmother’s kitchen and of the HER House, where I began making it on my own.” The recipe is simple, and—aside from chopping extra mushrooms and onions—easy to prepare in large quantities.
 
(from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Kaizen)
 
1 hour to prepare
Yields 4-5 servings
 
Ingredients:
 
2 Tbs. butter
2 cups chopped onion
1 ½ to 2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. salt
2 to 3 tsp. dried dill (or 2 to 3 Tbs. freshly minced)
1 Tbs. mild paprika
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. flour
2 cups water
1 cup milk (can be low fat) – at room temperature
black pepper, to taste
½ cup sour cream (can be reduced-fat variety)
finely minced fresh parsley, for the top
 
Directions:
 
Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onions, and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt, dill, and paprika. Stir well and cover. Let cook for about 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice.
 
Gradually sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly. Cook and stir another 5 minutes or so over medium-low heat. Add water, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often.
 
Stir in milk; add black pepper to taste. Check to see if it needs more salt. Whisk in the sour cream, and heat very gently. Don’t boil or cook it after this point. Serve hot, topped with fresh minced parsley.
 
Contributor’s note:
 
The Moosewood cookbook was the first I ever owned, and–like many of its cult followers—it’s still one of my favorites. Mushrooms are touted for immunity-boosting properties—perfect for winter! The recipe is simple, and—aside from chopping extra mushrooms and onions—easy to prepare in large quantities.
 
Try serving this soup with warm poppy seed bread, like this one from With the Grains.