Goulash Soup with Dumplings
I've always loved the goulash flavours of beef, tomatoes and spicy paprika and this soup is certainly a great 'winter warmer'. In fact, it's a meal in a bowl so no need for a main course, just some bread and cheese to follow.
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You will also need a 6 pint (3.5 litre) lidded, flameproof casserole.
Begin by trimming and cutting the meat into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces. Then heat the oil in the casserole and fry the meat in batches over a high heat until well browned, removing it to a plate as it is ready. Now stir in the onion, adding a little extra oil if needed. Cook the onion over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until it's lightly browned, stirring now and then. Then return the meat to the casserole and sprinkle in the flour, paprika, marjoram (if using), caraway seeds and garlic and season with salt. Stir well and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and stock. When it comes to simmering point, cover and continue simmering very gently for 45 minutes.
After that, take the lid off and stir in the tomato purée, followed by the potatoes and chopped pepper, then bring the goulash back to a simmer and cook gently, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then, to make the dumplings, mix the flour and shredded suet in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and add enough cold water (6-8 tablespoonfuls) to make a smooth elastic dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and divide it into 12 small dumplings, pop them on to the soup – don't press them down, though, just let them float. Then put the lid back on and simmer for a further 25 minutes.
Taste to check the seasoning and ladle the goulash into six warmed, deep bowls, making sure everyone has 2 dumplings. Finish each one with a spoonful of soured cream and a sprinkling of paprika.
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