Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chicken Paprikas Soup

It's fall again, and with the chill in the air, you should be planning a soup. If you're not, well . . . that's just sad. But, no worries, I have a recipe for you!

What type of soup to make is a point of contention between me and The Physicist. Most soups have a base of carrots and celery, which are two vegetables he will NOT eat. I, myself, am not fond of bean soups, so between the two of us, we eliminate most soup recipes. But, I like to think of myself as resourceful, so I picked the recipe of one of his favorite meals, and turned it into soup. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present, Chicken Paprikas Soup!

There are two steps to this, and you should do step one either a day ahead, or at least a few hours ahead. Soup is a lengthy process. So worth it, though.

Step 1:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cleaned and trimmed

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika*

1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in an 8x8 baking dish, and season with salt and paprika*. Pour chicken broth over breasts, and bake until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees, about 45 minutes. Let cool to room temp. At this point, put the chicken breast into a sealed container, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 2:

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. butter

2 jars of roasted red peppers (12 oz., packed in water)

1 Tbsp. paprika*

7 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup flour

1 egg

1/4 tsp. salt

1 - 2 Tbsp. water

3 cooked paprika seasoned chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

In a 5 quart stock pot, saute the onions in the butter, on medium low heat, until they are translucent and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, drain the 2 jars of roasted red peppers, and puree the peppers in a blender, until smooth.

When the onions are done (see picture), stir in the paprika* and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add the pepper puree and chicken broth. Stir, bring broth to a boil, and then let simmer 15 minutes, uncovered, while you make the dumplings.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, egg, salt, by hand, slowly adding the water as needed. It should be a pretty dry dough, though elastic, and should form a ball (see picture).

Taking one third of the dough at a time, pinch off small, flat pieces and drop directly into the simmering broth (see picture).

Avoid rolling the dumplings into balls (it creates hard dumplings) or pinching off large sections (unless you're lazy or like gigantic dumplings). The size should be a pinch (see picture).

The dumplings, as they cook, should rise to the surface of the soup. Stir the soup every once and awhile, while making the dumplings, to make sure none are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Once the dough is all gone, and the soup is simmering, shred your chicken breasts, and add them to your broth.

Add the heavy cream while stirring, and let simmer another 5 minutes.

Serve hot in bowls, and enjoy!

*Paprika is a hot spice. This is a spicy soup. The Physicist likes his food spicy, so I make the soup spicy. If your palate is more tame, I recommend using half as much paprika.

Another side note: Paprikas is pronounced "paprikaSH", because the s in Hungarian is a "sh" sound.