Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Winter is not really my time of year. Before I came to Germany winter for me was nothing below 20 degrees Celsius. The German winters literally caught me out in the cold. I exchanged bikini, windsurf, flip flops, sun, sand and sea for woolly underwear, turtle necked sweaters, gloves, mittens, snow, ice and scraping the car each morning with numb fingers.
I've been living in Germany for 14 years now! Although I am still that sunshine-beach bum loving type of girl, there is a certain charm winter has draped around me over the recent years.
There is just something magical when the snow covered hills glisten in the winter sun. The air is crisp, cold and your face tingles. Under my feet the snow crunches and behind me, I hear the whizzing of Soeren's sledge being dragged along. I hear the laughter of the kids as they pull their sledges and then their excited shrieks as they zoom past us. Once on top of the hill I cannot help but take a deep breath of the fresh air and sigh deeply at the view in front of me.
Crystal white, as far as the eye can see, gleaming every now and then when the sun hits like diamonds scattered across the field. I can't help but smile. Because I am in awe of this feeling. Because it is so unlike me. Because it is so easy to get captivated. Because, as I zoom down the hill on the sledge I hear the pure happiness in my son's laughter. Yes, there certainly is a charm to winter.
The best, as we know, always comes at the end though. Coming back home, where it is warm. The mittens, jackets, and heavy boots fly off in all directions. In front of the warm fire we thaw the cold out of our bodies. Leaving Soeren with a good book and a warm blanket, I go into the kitchen and cannot wait to to cook up a rich, strong and piping hot soup. It has to be soup. Because there really is nothing else that would bring warmth and satisfy that craving that only comes when one has spent hours out in the cold.
My dearest friend, Alanna's call to put the Soup On came at the perfect moment. After such a wonderful winter's day that is just what I did. What can be more satisfying, comforting and warming than a strong, nourishing and tasty Goulash soup?
Blogger Postcards Around The World: For those who have received your cards please do not forget to send me the link to the post. More than half have already found out who their secret postcard partner was. Interested? Check out the Valentine List.
The theme for the latest Monthly Mingle is - Savory Cakes.
Deadline is March 15th. Hope to see you there!
500g Beef rump - cut into small cubes.
20g dried Porcini mushrooms.
2 onions - finely chopped
1 garlic clove - finely chopped
1 small kohlrabi - cut into small cubes
4 tablespoons - butter
1 tablespoon paprika powder
1 tablespoon tomato puree
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 1/4 liter beef stock
500g button mushrooms - sliced
juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Soak the dried Porcini mushrooms in 125 ml hot water.
In a large heavy pot melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the onions and garlic until they just start to take on color. Remove from heat and mix in the paprika powder. Replace back on the heat and add the meat and the kohlrabi cubes. Fry this well, until the meat has turned a nice brown color.
Mix the tomato puree and cook for just a couple of minutes. Add salt, pepper and cracked coriander seeds into the pot. Pour in 1 liter of the stock.
Strain the Porcini, retaining the water. Chop the Porcini coarsely and together with the water add to the pot. Allow this to simmer for at least 1 hour.
What you will notice as the cooking time passes that the soup takes on a gorgeous deep brown color.
In the meantime, pour the lemon juice on the sliced button mushrooms. In a pan melt the rest of the butter and fry the mushrooms until lightly browned. Add to the soup towards the last 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve steaming, sprinkled with chives in large bowls.
As the aromas waft into the air in the kitchen and the fire cackles in the fireplace in the living room, I just know that this is going to be a perfect end to a perfect day.
I gave the typical Goulash a slight twist adding different types of mushrooms and some tangy lemon. It was a huge hit with both my men. As Soeren's toes waddled in front of the fire, his arms scooped the soup with relish. Tom joined us in front of the fire and loved the strong full-bodied flavor the soup offered.
Yes, even winter has it's warm side.
More soothing soups to try:
Creamy Ginger Carrot Soup with Lemon Cream
Coco Mango Soup
Porcini Cream Soup with Parmesan
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