If you've tried Hungarian food, then you know how comforting, warming and soulful this cuisine truly is, all while still retaining a touch of elegance. This combination has a lot to do with the history of the country, particularly that of the nomadic peasants who once inhabited the Hungarian plains, followed by the introduction of Italian and Turkish cuisine in the 15th and 16th centuries, and finally, the Austro-Hungarian Empire's Germanic effects on the country's food. The flavors of these periods eventually all merged to form the food we now know and love, and they are especially important for aiding many through blustery Hungarian winters.
Traditional ingredients found in Hungarian food include, perhaps most notably, paprika, dill, sour cream, onion, garlic, parsley, and meat. While you're likely to find all of these in the country's most famous dish, goulash, there are plenty of other options to fix your taste buds on that incorporate these famous flavors, including our warming Hungarian mushroom soup. For this soup, recipe developer Miriam Hahn made sure to focus on all of the classic Hungarian profiles. "I recently traveled to Hungary and had the opportunity to taste many delicious Hungarian dishes," Hahn explains. "This mushroom soup was one of my favorites, so of course I wanted to recreate it in my kitchen. I couldn't help but come home with a huge supply of paprika, as it was showcased everywhere, and it gives this soup a slightly sweet and earthy flavor."
Customizing Hungarian Mushroom Soup
When it comes to other ways of making Hungarian mushroom soup, you can choose to stick to traditional enhancements, or you can get creative and apply more of a globalized approach to Hungarian cooking. For a route closer to the cultural norm, variations can be as simple as swapping out which kind of paprika you use. Hungarian paprika is different from other kinds of paprika as it is regarded as having the most flavor; there are at least eight different flavor profiles of paprika in Hungary, ranging from mild and sweet to spicy and pungent, so trying different selections can change the flavor of the entire dish. You can opt for either a sweet or hot paprika in this soup, depending on your preferences.
If you want to give a nod to the cultural fusion of Hungarian cuisine, try swapping out the paprika for garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder — these flavors can lend to a more Indian-style, spicy rendition of the soup. On the other hand, you can also try a more Americanized version by adding in a tablespoon of sugar. The result is a bisque-like soup that will tone down the earthy, savory aspects of the traditional version in exchange for a gentler flavor.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.