Hungarian Mushroom Soup

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James and I made a rookie mistake yesterday: we bought produce from Costco. Now I have enough garlic to fight off an entire army of vampires.

We also ended up with 24 oz. of cremini mushrooms, or baby portabello mushrooms. I’m pretty sure we’ll be eating mushrooms until they grow out of the tops of our heads. However, the surplus of mushrooms allowed me to make one of our favorite soups… so I suppose we can’t complain too much.

This mushroom soup was one of the first things I learned how to cook from scratch a few years ago–which should tell you how easy it is to scrape together. The most important ingredient (apart from the titular mushrooms of course) is paprika–or rather, Hungarian sweet paprika, which gives this soup its je ne sais quoi. If you don’t have any on-hand, you can easily substitute regular paprika; of course, I would still recommend buying Hungarian paprika at your local European market or deli. The earthy sweetness of this particular paprika is really hard to replicate.

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The “hardest” part of this recipe is reintroducing liquids back into the pot and evenly distributing the roux, or the mixture of flour and butter that coagulates around the mushrooms and onions. And it’s not really that hard–just pour the broth into the pot a little bit at a time (¼ c. or so) and stir. At first, the introduction of liquid will create a paste; with the addition of more liquid, this paste will break into lumps and eventually dissipate into the broth, leaving a glossy, thick soup.

I should also note that I halved the recipe since James and I are no good with leftovers, but these measurements are easily doubled and/or tripled for the amount of people you need to cook for.

Lastly, I switched out the sour cream for greek yogurt to make this recipe a little more healthy; I think we actually prefer the yogurt to the sour cream because the flavor is milder–almost like a creme fraiche. And I threw in cayenne pepper because I didn’t have hot paprika on-hand–but feel free to leave it out if you don’t like a little kick at the end of each spoonful. This soup is hearty enough to be served on its own but also pairs well with some warm, crusty bread. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking.

 

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 8 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. dried dill leaves
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. nonfat greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon wedges (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring a heavy-bottomed pot to medium heat, then add the unsalted butter.
  2. When the butter has melted and starts to bubble slightly, pour in the diced onions. Stir once every so often until the onions are translucent, ~2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and stir to combine with the onions. Allow the mushrooms to release their moisture and shrink, ~2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat to medium low and add the flour, paprika and cayenne pepper (optional) and stir. It will be hard to mix evenly and will “gunk up” the vegetables–this is okay!
  5. Pour the chicken or vegetable broth in a little bit at a time, then stir. The roux will form a thick paste, but will eventually give way to a nice, glossy thick soup base! Make sure to stir constantly to avoid lumps!
  6. Once you’ve finished adding the broth, bring the heat back up to medium and add the dill. When the soup starts to boil, bring the heat down to medium-low and cover the pot. Allow the pot to cook undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and add salt and pepper to taste. When you’re ready to serve, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the greek yogurt. You’ll see little white specks in the soup, but don’t worry about them. They won’t ruin the aesthetic and are worth the addition!
  8. You can serve the soup with an additional spoonful of yogurt and/or a lemon wedge, topped with fresh or dried parsley.

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