yeah you heard me right BUTTER SOUP...
but wait... steph chows is about eating healthy... and you don't use butter in your baking... what's going on!?!?!?
Don't worry dear reader I'm still all about cooking healthy... just keep reading...
If you've ever looked at the right hand column of the page you'll see a quote from my Nana, "everything in moderation" and I truly believe it. This recipe came with her mother all the way from Hungary. I have many fond memories of Nana and my Mom making this soup. It really should be called parsley root soup... but the first thing that goes in the large stock pot is butter... so hence the name.
The soup is hearty but not as fattening or thick as the name may lead you to believe. The home-made spatzle noodles blend perfectly with the woody/smokey flavors of the root and paprika. i LOVE this soup.
The hardest part of this soup is finding the parsley root. Wegmans is a great store, seriously whenever I travel somewhere I can't believe how much I miss Wegmans. They however don't carry parsley root all year long. It's more of a fall type of product, so last weekend when I was in the Wegmans by John's house, I looked over from one side of the produce department... and there is was!!! In all it ugly big fat root glory with wonderful greens spurting out of the tops!! I couldn't make it over to it fast enough, plucked the biggest bunch I could find and off I went. Did I mention that i LOVE this soup??
This soup really is a humble meal, inexpensive, filling, and delicious. It takes an hour to simmer and another 20 minutes for the noodles to cook but it's well worth it. I'm normally a quick recipe kind of girl... but for this soup... it's a pleasure!
1 or 2 bunches of parsley root with leaves attached
4 Tbs butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 quarts boiling water
salt (approx. 1 teaspoons)
pepper (approx. 1/2 teaspoon)
Hungarian sweet paprika (approx. 2 teaspoons)
Cut tops off the parsley roots. Peel the roots and slice in thin slices. If roots are large, halve them lengthwise first. They do darken when exposed to the air, so don’t do this too far ahead of time.
Wash the leaves. They usually have a lot of sand clinging to them. Fold them in half and tie into a bunch with kitchen twine. Depending on how much you have, make one or two bunches.
Melt & lightly brown butter in large soup pot. Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly. (a flat whisk works well)
Gradually add the hot water, stirring and breaking up any clumps.
Add salt, pepper and paprika. Mix well so it doesn’t clump.
Add roots and bunches of leaves.
Bring to boil, turn down heat, cover, and simmer for about an hour. If pot is not large enough, it can boil over. In that case, don’t cover tightly.
Remove the bunches of leaves. Cut the leaves off the stems, they can be very tough. Chop the leaves and return to the soup.
Make noodles and add to soup. Simmer uncovered for about twenty minutes.
4 eggs, beaten
all-purpose flour (approx. 1 1/4 cup)
salt (approx. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
pepper (approx. 1/8 teaspoon)
Beat eggs in a large flat soup plate. (again the flat whisk works well)
Gradually add the flour three or four tablespoons at a time. Beat in with whisk until smooth. Add the salt & pepper. (You may not need all the flour or you may need a bit more. It just depends on the size of the eggs, the humidity, who knows what else.)
You should get a soft, reasonably stiff dough.
Drop small spoonfuls into the soup. Nana always kind of flicked it off the plate into the soup.
I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do, there is so much nostalgia in this soup. LOVE IT!
PS. all those stems you cut the leaves off of... don't throw them out. Cut them up put them on a plate add a little pepper and eat them! It's always my appetizer while the noodles cook :) Also the original recipe calls for 1/4 lb of butter... you really don't need that much 4 Tbs works just fine :)
UPDATE: (here is a little more about what parsley root is!)
Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable, as with hamburg root parsley. This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although little known in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in Central and Eastern European cuisine, used in soups and stews.
Though it looks similar to parsnip it tastes quite different. Parsnips are among the closest relatives of parsley in the umbellifer family of herbs, although the similarity of the names is a coincidence, parsnip meaning "forked turnip". It is not related to real turnips.