When I was a child I have shed many, many…..MANY tears over this soup that I could easily title it “soup of tears”. Granted, the picky eater I was I have cried over almost every meal. Also known as “poor man’s soup” it was my parent’s favorite soup, served too often, and for that, I resented the said soup for decades. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it has become my favorite as well but it did get on the “soups I like” list. My hubby had two servings and he is usually reluctant to trying new things. Actually, Rob will try everything once. If he doesn’t like it he’ll say: “it is pretty good” and then ignore it for the rest of his life. Ha.
½ cup Oil
1/3 cup all-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Paprika
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
4 cups Water (can be substituted with vegetable stock but omit next ingredient!)
3 teaspoons Vegeta* (substitute with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes)
½ teaspoon Caraway seeds (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
To serve: Croutons and Sour Cream (optional)
*Vegeta – a Croatian condiment (much like bouillon in powder form) which is a mixture of spices and various dry vegetables. We like to season everything with Vegeta and use it instead of salt.
Heat the oil in a medium-size pot. Stir in the flour. With a wooden spoon or a whisk continue to stir flour over low heat until flour is golden in color. Do not burn it!
Mix in paprika, cayenne pepper, and caraway seeds, if using. Slowly add water or broth continuing to stir as it thickens. Season the soup with Vegeta or bouillon if you’re cooking with water. Simmer the soup, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve soup in bowls topped with croutons (preferably homemade) and sour cream if you’d like.
It is very easy to make homemade croutons: Cut up bread (best with artisan or alike) into 1-inch pieces. Toss lightly with olive oil and brown in a large pan, turning them over once or twice, until crisp. For more flavor use garlic-infused olive oil.
The croutons and sour cream lift this soup from “poor man’s” level to fancy.
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