A traditional Hungarian cauliflower soup recipe, flavoured with paprika and with delicious mini dumplings.
W>hat a revelation this soup was. Who knew? Cauliflower soup doesn’t need to be creamy!
I spotted this recipe in Saveur late last Fall and put it on my list to try over the Winter. With local Ontario (Fall crop) cauliflower 2 for $5 at the grocery store this week, the moment had arrived to give it a try.
This is a traditional Hungarian soup, known as Karfiolleves. Traditionally (and in the original recipe), hot Hungarian paprika is used in the soup. After reading a few reviews on Saveur, I realized that we couldn’t handle that kind of heat (and apparently a lot of people couldn’t – the Hungarians must be a spice-lovin’ people).
I adapted my version to use regular paprika with a hit of cayenne for some heat. I also used chicken broth, instead of the original recipe’s vegetable broth. It was perfect – filling and just the right amount of heat to warm me up. A good thing, particularly for today, when we woke to a temperature was -36° C and the forecast high temperature is -22° C.
The dumplings in this soup are very interesting (one of them is pictured on the spoon in the photo below). They call it a dough in the recipe, but it’s really more of a thick batter, which kind of surprised me. They are a nice addition to the soup and add a bit of bulk to the soup, making it more filling, which is especially nice when enjoying it as a dinner soup.
Everyone here loved this soup and it will definitely be going in regular rotation throughout the Winter. I love that it’s a quick, healthy, tasty and meatless soup. If you swap out vegetable broth for the chicken broth, it could be vegetarian, as well.
This soup is best right when it’s cooked, though it will keep for left-overs. Don’t add any extra salt until the very end (after the dumplings have been cooked). There is a good bit of salt in the dumplings that will naturally salt the soup for you. I didn’t have to add any extra to mine – just some freshly ground pepper to finish.
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (bit less if using table salt)
- Bit of freshly ground pepper
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, DIVIDED
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. paprika
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cayenne or hot Hungarian paprika (for heat, to taste)
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock (low-sodium would work well in this soup)
- 1 small head cauliflower, large stem removed, cut into small florets
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced or diced
- For garnish: 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and finely chopped
- Make the dumplings: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and a bit of freshly ground pepper. Add 2 Tbsp. of the butter, and using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until pea-size crumbles form. Add egg, and stir until dough forms (mine was more of a thick batter). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large soup pot, heat the remaining 4 Tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat. Add paprika, cayenne and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cauliflower and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Using a 1/2-tsp. measuring spoon and working quickly, spoon out and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup (I just used a 1/2 tsp. measuring spoon, scooped and gave it a good rap against the side of the pot to drop into the soup), cook, stirring occasionally, until the dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes. At this point, you can do a taste test and add additional salt, if necessary. Add some additional cayenne, if needed, for a bit more heat.
- To serve, ladle soup and dumplings into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.
Adapted from Saveur November 2011 “The Art of Soup”