Monday, November 7, 2011

This. Is. PAPRIKA!!

Well, San Francisco Bay Area.  It certainly is freaking cold outside, isn't it?

Honestly, about 5 days ago, we were all walking around in our tank tops minding our own business when a rain cloud rolled in and the temperature dropped 30 degrees.  It is now officially winter and the process only took about 45 seconds.

Not dealing with rain for 6 months and then suddenly having to deal with it again is my least favorite thing.  You have the responsibility of remembering that the ballet flats aren't going to work every day anymore; That every once in a while the traffic is going to be terrible because people in California freak out when they see the rain; That the giant puddle in your driveway is going to reappear every morning because California can't figure out how to drain anything, ever; That the power will go out... not because there is any such thing as a storm out here... but because it is sprinkling outside.  The last bit is the most confusing for me. You'd need an insane mixture of rain, lightning and wind for the power to go out in the Midwest, so frankly I think that the power company (PG&E) out here is just lazy.

Anyway, the weather this week has sent me into serious soup-mode.  That potato soup I made in the last post was probably one of the best soups I've ever had. This one is about half way up the ladder... saved in part by the addition of tiny dumplings.  Who doesn't like tiny dumplings?

I think it's big problem was that I made it step by step from a recipe, which never seems to work out too well. It's like having someone else's food on my plate.

At any rate, if I were to make this again, I would use chicken broth.  Using vegetable broth gives this soup a base flavor of, well, paprika.  And I like paprika.  Just... there's got to be a limit. Basically, this soup held me down and screamed "PAPRIKA!!" in my face before it kicked me into a bottomless pit of paprika.

Which, I've been told, may have been the point.

Karfiolleves (Paprika-Spiced Cauliflower Soup with dumplings)
(Serves 4)
from Saveur, November 2011

1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 egg
1/1/2 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 small head cauliflower, large stem removed, cut into florets
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small bunch parsley, stemmed and finely chopped

Make the dumplings: In a bowl, stir together flour and salt; add 2 tablespoons butter, and using your fingers, rub into the flour until pea-size crumbles form.  Add egg, and stir until dough forms; refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat remaining butter in a 6 quart saucepan over medium-high heat; add paprika and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add vegetable stock, cauliflower, and carrot; season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.  Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, portion out  and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup; cook, stirring occasionally, until dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

To serve, ladle soup and into 4 serving bowls, garnish with parsley. 

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