No Paprika? What’s a good Hungarian without paprika

It’s a cold day for Vancouver, so it seemed like a good idea to make soup: Tomato Soup with Noodles Hungarian style.  I soon found out that I didn’t have any paprika and called my neighbour Rosina who luckily came to the rescue.  My Mom used to cook this soup while I was growing up and I loved it, but somehow I’d never really learned how to make it.  Last December I went to visit my cousin Diane in Nova Scotia and she showed me how to cook it.  Now, it’s an easy recipe to whip up on a cold night.   Here’s how:  dice a cooking onion in oil until translucent; add some paprika and sauté another minute.  Add 1 large can of tomato juice and season with salt and pepper.  Add a splash of soy sauce and cook on simmer for 1/2 to 1 hour.  About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, toss in some small-sized pasta or orzo.  The traditional Hungarian way is to make tiny egg dumplings we called nookedli.  Use a fork to beat 3 large eggs in a bowl, add some salt, then gradually mix in enough flour to make a stiff batter.  Initially the batter will appear lumpy, but it will smooth out as you mix and add more flour.  Turn the batter out on to a dinner plate pushing it to the edge and use a soup spoon to “pinch” off small pieces of batter into the soup.  Hold the plate or rest it on edge of pot.  Turn up the heat on the soup so that it is near boiling.  The noodles will double in size and raise to top of soup when noodles are cooked.  Soup is ready to serve.

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