Paprika compliments of FoodAdditivesWorld.com
They say one man’s potato is another man’s soup.
And I say there is nothing more endearing than a college student learning how to make his first soup from his mother and his aunt. Via laptop, of course.
I was tickled pink to find Daniel Nyikos’s poem happily simmering over at Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. Love the juxtaposition of old world and new, the easy family banter, and proof once again that love is the best seasoning for any soup.
by Daniel Nyikos
I set up my computer and webcam in the kitchen
so I can ask my mother’s and aunt’s advice
as I cook soup for the first time alone.
My mother is in Utah. My aunt is in Hungary.
I show the onions to my mother with the webcam.
“Cut them smaller,” she advises.
“You only need a taste.”
I chop potatoes as the onions fry in my pan.
When I say I have no paprika to add to the broth,
they argue whether it can be called potato soup.
My mother says it will be white potato soup,
my aunt says potato soup must be red.
When I add sliced peppers, I ask many times
if I should put the water in now,
but they both say to wait until I add the potatoes.
I add Polish sausage because I can’t find Hungarian,
and I cook it so long the potatoes fall apart.
“You’ve made stew,” my mother says
when I hold up the whole pot to the camera.
They laugh and say I must get married soon.
I turn off the computer and eat alone.
Copyright © 2010 Daniel Nyikos. All rights reserved.
Daniel’s poem prompted a recipe search for Hungarian Potato Soup. There were many variations, of course, some were clear and some were creamy. Some were simple concoctions of potatoes, water, milk, onions, salt and paprika — while others called for sour cream, celery, tomatoes, even garlic.
I also learned a bit more about Hungarian paprika and its varying degrees of hotness. Didn’t want to set my mouth on fire, so with apologies to Daniel’s aunt, I adapted a simple crock pot recipe and used both hot and sweet paprika. Like Daniel, I couldn’t find any Hungarian sausage, so substituted Polish Kielbasa. And like Daniel’s, my soup eventually turned into a “stew.” But it made a nice winter’s meal, along with crusty bread and fresh creamery butter. Next time, I’ll experiment with smoky paprika. I feel like part of the family now ☺.
HUNGARIAN POTATO AND SAUSAGE SOUP
5-6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2″ cubes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
1 ring turkey kielbasa
Place potatoes, broth, paprikas, celery seeds and salt in 4-quart or large slow cooker. Stir to combine.
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer to cooker.
Cover. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Stir to break up potatoes into broth for a slightly chunky consistency.
Add dill, nutmeg, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir in milk. Add sliced sausage and cover. Cook 20 to 30 more minutes, or until heated through.
Poet and fiction writer Daniel Nyikos was born in Germany to a Hungarian mother and an American father of Hungarian descent. He earned his B.A. and M.A. at Utah State University and is currently working towards his doctorate in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska. I wonder if he has finally perfected his Potato Soup?
What was the first soup you ever made? Who taught you the recipe?
♥ Talented poet, proud grandmother and excellent cook Elaine Magliaro is hosting today’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Wild Rose Reader. Get thee hence and check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere this week.
♥ Learn more about Hungarian Paprika here.
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.
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