Artist's rendition. Not to scale. Your results may vary.

A soupçon of soup’s on, maybe?

Last time, we tackled Hungarian mushroom soup.  Let’s give Hungary a mushroom-less shot at Best of Show, this time with goulash.  Ain’t no mushrooms, which means that I already like it, and–as the inclusion of “Hungarian” in the recipe’s name tells you–it requires paprika.  The absence of mushrooms and the presence of paprika is enough to make little ol’ me pretty happy.  Let’s give goulash a bash, shall we?


4 onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1/4 c. oil

6 Tbsp. good Hungarian paprika

1 1/2 lb. chuck roast, cut up into 1/4″ pieces

1 qt. beef stock

2 tsp. marjoram

2 tsp. caraway seeds

salt and pepper

1 tsp. vinegar (any kind other than distilled white vinegar, which is akin to battery acid)

4 tomatoes OR 1 x 28 oz. can

In a largish pot–six or seven quarts is good–sauté the onions, garlic, and paprika in the oil for seven or eight minutes.  Take the pot off the heat and add the beef, seasonings, and stock.  Put it back on the heat and let it do its thing right up until the beef is danged near done.  At that point, add the tomatoes and vinegar and let it finish.

I can’t think of an appropriate garnish for goulash, to be honest.  Maybe a wee dollop of sour cream, although I’ve never tried that.  Something tells me that cornichons or gherkins would be nice on the side.

Chicken (or turkey) au gratin soup

1 box potatoes au gratin mix

2 x 10 3/4 oz. cans condensed chicken stock broth

3 c. water

1/2 c. whatever wine you find pleasant

1 carrot, sliced

1/2 tsp. dried marjoram

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

s & p to taste

2 c. cooked and cut-up chicken or turkey

1 c. peas

Combine the boxed potatoes, the contents of its little sauce packet,  the broth, water, wine, carrot, marjoram, oregano, and s & p in a whomping great pot.  Cover it and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes.  Add everything else, and then let it simmer for another ten-fifteen minutes, giving it a good stir now and then.  You, my friend, have just added another soup to your repertoire.

Ninja turkey soup

It is possible to get a unique soup in nothing flat and from out of the blue, hence the name.  I know that we’re nowhere near Thanksgiving, but it’s worth knowing anyway. All you do is add about a cup of leftover turkey meat to a can of cream of whatever soup (seriously–it doesn’t matter what kind you use), a can of cream of chicken, and two soup cans refilled with milk and/or cream.  Garnish it with the dreaded chopped parsley, bits of turkey meat, and/or itty-bitty croutons.

Cold parsley bisque

I’ve been bad-mouthing parsley for a while now, which isn’t wholly appropriate.  I like the way parsley tastes–clean, bright, and without the grassy flavor that a lot of other greens have.  I just hate picking and chopping the leaves.  It’s so tedious.

This recipe is obviously most suited for the summer months, so file it away and set your alarm for June 21.

Technically it’s not a bisque–a proper bisque is thickened with rice.  This one uses taters instead, but if you’re adventurous I’m sure you could figure out how to use rice in their place.

2 Tbsp. butter

6 shallots, minced

2 taters, peeled and sliced

1 qt. chicken stock

1 c. parsley, chopped, and measured tightly packed

3/4 c. cream

2 Tbsp. sour cream

1/4 tsp. chives, chopped

Melt the butter and then sweat the shallots in it.  Add the taters and the stock and let it all simmer until the taters are tender (probably about 25 minutes).  Let it cool for a bit, add the parsley, and then purée the heck out of it.  An immersion blender is very handy at this stage, but you can use an ordinary counter-top blender or a food processor–whatever gets you jiggy with it.    Transfer the whole mess (or “hail clanjamfrie,” as they say in Scotland) to a largish bowl.  Hit it with plenty of salt and pepper and then stir in the cream.  Stash it in your icebox overnight–or three hours for an absolute minimum–and serve it garnished with sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.