Hungarian Steak Soup
1-1/2 lbs. boneless round steak, cut 3/4-inch thick
1 medium onion, preferably sweet onion such as Vidalia
1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
1/2 tsp hot paprika, preferably Hungarian
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, briefly toasted*
6 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp salt
6 ounces wide egg noodles
Pat the meat dry. Trim away any excess fat and cut the meat into 3/4-inch cubes.
Cut the onion in half and coarsely chop one half. Thinly slice the other half.
Set aside. Core, seed, and cut the bell peppers in half. Cut one half of each
pepper into chunks and the other half into 1/4-inch strips. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker or large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat
until it simmers, about 3 minutes. Add half the meat and brown on all sides,
about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining meat
Add the chopped onion and bell pepper chunks to the pot. Stir frequently until
the vegetables soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the sweet and hot paprika, black
pepper and caraway seeds and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the beef broth. Add the
bay leaves, garlic and tomato paste. Return the meat and accumulated juices to
Cover and seal the pressure cooker (if using) and bring to full pressure over
high heat. Regulate the heat and cook for 20 minutes. If using a saucepan,
simmer, partially covered, for 1- to 1-1/2 hours. Release pressure and uncover
the cooker. The meat should be cooked through and tender. If not, re-cover the
pot, bring back to full pressure and cook for 5 minutes more. Pour the soup
through a colander into a bowl, leaving as much of the meat as possible in the
pot. Pick out the meat cubes in the colander and return to the pot. Discard the
bay leaves and vegetables in the colander, as well as any remaining in the pot.
Add the onion slices and bell pepper strips to the pot and pour the broth back
in over the vegetables and meat. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to
low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are just tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the salt and noodles
and cook until the noodles are just tender. Drain the noodles.
Spoon 1/2 cup of noodles into each of 6 soup plates. Ladle the hot soup over the
noodles and serve at once. Pass the sour cream at the table.
* Toast the caraway seeds in a small skillet over medium-low heat, tossing
often, until aromatic, about 5 minutes.
From "Steak Lover's
Cookbook," by William Rice