Hungarian Bakonyi Outlow Soup (betyárleves)

Updated: Sep 21

Outlaw’s soup is a tasty and hearty dish of the Hungarian cuisine. This soup can be made with several meats and vegetables; because of its various ingredients outlaw’s soup is prepared otherwise in the different regions of the country. That’s why you can see alföldi, bakonyi, mátrai or erdélyi outlaw’s soup recipes. Its origin isn’t clearly known, but  the outlaws of the 18-19th century probably cooked something like that using what they found in the bundle or in the pantry. A bunch of dishes have been named after Bakony, the largest part of the Transylvanian Mountains. Those foods have one thing in common: they all contain mushrooms. Wild mushrooms are the best choice if they are available, but cultivated mushroom varieties can be good too.

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cook the onions and bacon over medium heat until the onions start to color, 10 to 15 minutes.

2 Stir in the paprika and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes to release and develop its flavor. Add the veal and just enough stock to cover it. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

3 Add the carrots, turnips, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, and more stock, reserving about 1 cup; don’t worry if the liquid doesn’t cover the vegetables at this point.

4 Season with salt and pepper.

5 Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, another 20 minutes. Add a little more stock if the soup looks too dry during cooking, bearing in mind that more liquid will be added later.

6 Put the sour cream in a small bowl and stir in the flour with a fork or whisk; stir in the cream. Pour this into the soup and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.

7 Simmer for 2 minutes.

8 Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the chopped fresh dill and toss some sprigs on top for decoration, if you like.

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