Over the long weekend, I went cross border shopping. Yes, me, the Queen of Not Shopping (save grocery shopping, because I LOVE that!), drove 5 hours to an outlet mall in Michigan. I bought some clothes, but one of my must-visit destinations was Penzeys, a spice store in Detroit. Aimee at Sugared Ellipses mailed me some small containers of various spices from Penzeys in the fall, and let’s just say I fell in love with them. I already needed a refill.
I perused Penzeys’ catalogue and thought I knew what I wanted to buy. I thought! I never knew visiting a spice store could be that much fun. The difference with Penzeys is that there are so many different kinds of spices that you have to smell them to understand the differences. For paprika, did I want Hungarian, Californian or Spanish? Californian has the best colour but Hungarian the best flavour (who cares about looks anyways?, says the food blogger). Spanish is more all-around goodness. Thankfully someone was there to help me sniff every single one of them, and then again and even a third time, before I decided to stick with Hungarian paprika. But then there was other question – sweet or half-sharp? Sweet it was with its smokey flavour and my virgin palate.
Hungarian sweet smoked paprika is definitely one of my new favourite spices because of its smokey full flavour without too much heat. I already used it in a spiced brownie but it was mixed with a few spices. This soup really lets the paprika shine.
A creamy mushroom soup, without cream (wait, does sour cream count?) with a hint of fresh dill and the smokiness of the paprika really sets this soup apart from the pack. I really liked the soup with shiitakes, but that’s because I am a sucker for Japanese ‘shrooms.
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (1 large onion)
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used shiitake)
2 cups vegetable broth
4 tsp fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill weed)
1 tablespoon Hungarian smoked sweet paprika
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in the broth, dill, paprika, and soy sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together. Pour this into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Finally, stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice and sour cream. Mix together and allow to heat through over low heat, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately.