It’s cold and dreary and dank – so it must be time for goulash! This lovely, lovely soup can be made with bacon and beef from Lindenhof Farms or Bison from Backyard Bison. I just made it from bison, and heavens it was YUMMY! Serve with a nice crusty loaf of bread and a crisp salad, and a nice glass (or two) of Cotes du Rhone, and you have a meal fit for a Winter Goddess.
Hearty Goulash Soup
In Austria, warming bowls of goulash soup are served in all kinds of establishments – from quick-service restaurants along the Autobahn to Vienna’s elegant Hotel Bristol. This hearty beef and vegetable soup can be found in many areas of central and eastern Europe, especially in regions that were once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Our satisfying rendition has chunks of beef and potato plus red peppers, bacon, onions, and garlic, all fragrant with paprika.
5 slices bacon, chopped
3 pounds boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons paprika (preferably Hungarian sweet*)
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds (note: this may be too much caraway for your taste, it was for mine; try 1/2 teaspoon only and see what you think.)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
5 cups beef broth
5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 red bell peppers, chopped fine
4 large russet (baking) potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
In an 8-quart heavy kettle cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. In fat remaining in kettle brown chuck in small batches over high heat, transferring it as browned with slotted spoon to bowl.
Reduce heat to moderate and add oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Stir in paprika, caraway seeds, and flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in vinegar and tomato paste and cook, whisking, 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick.) Stir in broth, water, salt, bell peppers, bacon, and chuck and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer soup, covered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.
Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add potatoes to soup and simmer, covered, occasionally until tender, about 30 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. Soup may be made 3 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, before chilling, covered. Reheat soup, thinning with water if desired.